Go inside the Socceroos’ stunning World Cup secret weapon: Tim Cahill gives football fans a guided tour of the Aussies’ space-age recovery set-up in Qatar
Tim Cahill has revealed how the Socceroos are leaving nothing to chance ahead of their crunch match with Denmark on Thursday morning (AEDT) in Doha.
Australia’s greatest ever goal-scorer provided a fascinating insight as to how Graham Arnold’s squad are preparing for their date with football destiny – and it was impressive to say the least.
The space-age Aspetar recovery facility is the Socceroos’ ace up their sleeve as they look to progress to the round of 16 at a World Cup for the first time since 2006.
Hot and cold baths, treatment pools, massages and recovery pods have all been utilised by the likes of Mat Leckie, Ajdin Hrustic, Aaron Mooy, Riley McGree and Andrew Redmayne as Australia’s players prepare to shock the world at the Al Janoub Stadium.
When training or recovering, the 26-man squad have the chance to re-fuel at Aspetar – and they are not short of options.
Tim Cahill has provided an insight as to how the Socceroos are preparing for the Denmark game
The likes of Ajdin Hrustic and Mat Leckie featured in Cahill’s clip, with recovery in between games crucial to the Socceroos’ chances of making the knockout stage of the Cup
Cahill – who lives in Qatar and is a Global Legacy Ambassador alongside Brazilian legend Cafu, former Cameroon striker Samuel Eto’o and Spanish great Xavi Hernandez – is also the Chief Sports Officer at the nearby Aspire Academy, which the Aussies have used as their training base.
With Cahill narrating the clip from inside the Aspetar facility, the one-time Everton midfielder said the key for the Socceroos was unlocking a point of difference.
‘Recovery is a crucial aspect when it comes to elite performance, so that is why we chose Aspetar ahead of the World Cup,’ he said in the video.
‘If the players want some down time, they can get together and play cricket or basketball.
‘They come here to re-fuel their bodies, this environment is catered for peak performance.’
As part of the high performance ‘specialised menu’, players also have the opportunity to stretch and use the on-site gym.
Craig Goodwin and Jason Cummings are pictured enjoying some down time in the pool
Midfielders Aaron Mooy (left) and Riley McGree enjoy their recovery session
Striker Mitch Duke also hopped in the water at the Aspetar facility ahead of the clash with Denmark
Striker Jamie Maclaren – who credits pilates for his longevity in the game – features in the clip stretching, while Ryan is seen working on his upper body strength.
Craig Goodwin, who has been a standout performer in the Middle East, said the Socceroos don’t fear Denmark, who need to win to move beyond the group stage at Australia’s expense.
‘We don’t want to be here just to experience the World Cup,’ he said. ‘We want to go as far as we can and do the best we possibly can.
‘We believe that we can qualify for the knockout stage and get a result against Denmark.’
Kick-off at the Al Janoub Stadium is 2am on Thursday (AEDT).