‘Ridiculous’: Inside Socceroos’ Turkish paradise
THE Socceroos' Hunger Games - otherwise known as Australia's pre-World Cup camp - has begun.
National team coach Bert van Marwijk has kicked off a month of intensive training with a first session in Belek on Turkey's Mediterranean coast.
About 10 Socceroos have touched down in the resort city to ramp up preparations for their tournament opener against France on June 16.
More will join in the coming days as they finish club commitments across 13 countries.
The primary purpose of the camp is to indoctrinate Australia's players with the Dutchman's pragmatic playing style, ridding them of any lingering commitments to former coach Ange Postecoglou's possession-hungry approach.
And to shed three players.
The group of 26 will be whittled to 23 in two weeks time, making every training session critical.
It's exactly how the Dutchman wants it.
While the selection will be brutal for three Socceroos, the conditions are not. The Australian squad are staying within the lavish Gloria complex, which sprawls out along the coast and includes golf courses, beach access and three different resorts.
And, of course, dedicated gym facilities and two pristine football pitches. The pitches have been decked out wall-to-wall with Australia's sponsors and signs featuring team slogans like ˜never take a backwards step".
Daniel Arzani, one of the first group to arrive into camp on the weekend, said he'd never seen anything like it.
"The hotel we're staying in is actually massive, it's ridiculous," he said.
"There's a lot of golf buggies around just to get around."
The secure facility will play host to the Socceroos for the next 10 days, before they head to Vienna for a friendly with Czech Republic.
The team will then return to Belek, just outside Antalya, for another five days of training - including the final squad selection - before a friendly in Budapest with Hungary en route to Russia.
Socceroos yet to arrive include Tom Rogic, who helped Celtic to a Scottish Cup win on the weekend, and Milos Degenek, who scored for Postecoglou's club side Yokohama F Marinos in a 5-2 J-League win over V-Varen Nagasaki.
Early arrivals include Tim Cahill, Jackson Irvine, James Troisi, Andrew Nabbout and Massimo Luongo.