Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has got World Cup fever as excitement mounts and Australia's preparations enter the final stage.
The Socceroos will spend a week on the Central Coast ahead of the farewell game against South Africa in Sydney, before flying direct to their World Cup base in Vitoria on 28 May, where they will fine-tune their preparations ahead of the World Cup opener against Chile on 13 June.
“I’m excited about the preparations we’ve managed to piece together,” Postecoglou said from London where he is with the Socceroos for Wednesday night’s friendly international against Ecuador at The Den.
“We’ll be able to spend a week moulding the squad together at a training camp on the Central Coast before we move to Sydney to embrace the public support that will help unite all of Australia behind the team ahead of the South Africa farewell match and our journey to Brazil for the World Cup.
“The 12 days in Australia will give us a solid base of training to ensure we’re ready for the challenges ahead while giving the Football Family the opportunity to get behind the Socceroos at a series of public appearances, opening training sessions and the farewell match.
“It is an exciting time for the players and staff but it is equally exciting for the fans and it is important for the team to get up close and personal with the fans and also allow the players to feel the excitement and support of the public.”
The Socceroos will then fly to Vitoria, where they will finalise preparations with a two-week training camp that includes two matches against fellow World Cup country Croatia and a local Vitoria State side.
“We’ve decided to fly straight to our base in Vitoria where we will be able to train solidly for two weeks and also play an international against Croatia and another match against a local Vitoria side,” Postecoglou said.
“I think we’ve managed to put together a balanced preparation that will enable us to go into the first match against Chile ready to represent the people of Australia on the biggest stage in world sport.”
The detailed preparations continue FFA’s determination to assist Postecoglou as he strives to create a “world class” environment off the field by putting in place resources and staff around the Socceroos.
"FFA is determined to give Ange the staffing and resources he needs to make sure we get the foundations right with preparations for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the Asian Cup on home soil and the next World Cup campaign,” said FFA CEO David Gallop.
"Ange has only had five months in the job, but already we can see a clear plan and a philosophy taking shape. There are exciting times ahead for the Socceroos as Ange embarks on a rebuilding of the Socceroos with the ultimate aim of having a new golden generation that will peak for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.”