The Caltex Socceroos have held their first training session in Dubai as the squad starts the build-up towards next week’s friendly against Kuwait.
Defender Josh Risdon was one of the first players to arrive in the UAE as the players immediately got to work under Graham Arnold and his coaching staff in the gruelling evening heat.
With Arnold and the likes of assistant René Meulensteen, High Performance Coordinator (Sports Science) Andrew Clark, High Performance Coordinator (Physiotherapy) Phil Coles and Senior Technical Analyst Doug Kors can work to ensure the team is physically, tactically and technically ready for what’s to come.
No stone is left unturned to ensure the players arrive in camp in the best possible shape to not only take on Kuwait but also for the intense training camp this week.
“They [Socceroos medical department] are always on the ball in terms of nutrition, hydration, and everything like that, and it is good to get advice to improve your playing performance,” Risdon told www.socceroos.com.au.
“They got in touch with us before the flight and told us when we should be sleeping, when to be having caffeine, and when to hydrate because we are going to be coming into a hot climate, something that a lot of players aren’t used to be playing in.”
“It’s going to be tough but everyone has taken on board the instructions from the staff and hopefully that can prepare us for the game.”
Risdon, who has 11-caps for the Caltex Socceroos, said he was delighted to be back in camp with the team after enjoying his initial camp under Arnold and his staff in Turkey last month.
But the 26-year-old admits this one will be different, with a game to look forward to as the build-up towards next year’s AFC Asian Cup ramps up.
“We haven’t had a game for a while, since the World Cup, it will be good to get back out on the pitch in a game,” Risdon said.
“Everyone is looking forward to it; it’s going to be a tough week in training obviously over here in the heat.
“But I’m sure everyone will put their best foot forward and get off to a good start in the new boss’ era.”
Risdon, who plays for Western Sydney Wanderers, is one of two Hyundai A-League based players in this Caltex Socceroos squad alongside Melbourne Victory youngster Thomas Deng.
After the match with Kuwait on Tuesday (AEDT), the pair will head back for the opening round of the 2018/19 Season the following weekend.
And in an interesting twist of fate, the Bunbury-born right-back goes up against his former club Perth Glory in his home state in their season-opener.
“A few of the family are Western Sydney fans now but it will be good to see them, I haven’t been back to Perth for a while now,” said Risdon.
“There will be a big bus load coming up from Bunbury and it will be good to see the family that weekend. Hopefully we can get the win and start the season off really well.
“It’s getting closer and closer and everyone is hanging out for that Round 1 being such a long pre-season,” Risdon added.
“Drawing Perth first round, against the old team and against (ex-Wanderers and now Glory coach Tony) Popovic as well, so it will be big for both clubs. I’m really looking forward to it and hopefully we can get off to a good start.”