Socceroos farewell Australia at Central Coast Stadium

Socceroos farewell Australia at Central Coast Stadium

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The Australian Socceroos spent three days in Gosford this month preparing for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in a training camp that culminated in a fan day at Central Coast Stadium.

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou took the players through their paces to assess their performances ahead of the Socceroos’ final match on home soil (a 1-1 draw with South Africa in Sydney on May 26 in Sydney).Fans from the Central Coast and surrounding regions descended on Central Coast Stadium on Sunday, May 18, to watch the team go through some training drills, and then had a chance to meet and greet their favourite players. And it wasn’t just the players that fans were able to meet.

Gosford played host to the world premiere of the Socceroos’ new mascot: Maloo the kangaroo. The team mascot was selected through an Australia-wide competition, won by 11-year-old twins from Brisbane, and showcased for the first time at the Central Coast Stadium. Maloo is a sociable kangaroo and took time to shake hands with all the fans. Sienna Mueck from Narara even went one better and got a big hug from the newest member of the Socceroos.

For fans from the Central Coast, the day was a great chance to see the team in action as they count down to the 2014 FIFA World Cup which starts in Brazil on Thursday, June 12, when hosts Brazil take on Croatia. The Socceroos have a range of new merchandise for fans to show their support for the team in Brazil and the team shirts were proving very popular. The fan day was also a chance for Central Coast Mariners’ fans to start thinking ahead to the 2014/15 A-League season and Jesse Canning from Central Coast Mariners events, ticketing and membership was doing a roaring trade on Dane Dr, taking details from new and returning members.

Membership in the season just gone had risen by 68% on the 2013/14 season and the Mariners are looking to do even better this year, buoyed by another successful season, albeit one that did not quite retain the winners’ silverware. A range of ages was present at the sign-up tent including Barbara Booth from Wyoming and Audrey Clark from Holgate. Originally from Sheffield and Manchester respectively, Barbara and Audrey have lived in the region for many years and believed it was high time they joined up.

A mother with a three year old came up to enquire about soccer training for the very young Socceroo and Mariners’ fans, as her now three year old was into “soccer before he could even walk” and is “super keen”. A fan forum will be held at the Central Coast Leagues Club on Monday, June 2, from 7pm.The Socceroos’ final preparation game for the 2014 FIFA World Cup is friendly match against Croatia on Saturday, June 7, less than a week before the action all kicks off in earnest in Sao Paulo. The Socceroos play their three group matches against Chile (Friday, June 13), the Netherlands (Wednesday, June 18), and Spain (Monday, June 23).Check local guides for telecast times on SBS TV.


Bill Quinn, 27 May 2014