No expense spared with Matildas to replicate Socceroos' pre-World Cup camp

Guardian sport

The Matildas have been afforded the same level of investment as their male counterparts in preparation for this year’s Women’s World Cup with confirmation the squad will travel to Football Federation Australia’s preferred training base in Turkey ahead of their campaign in France.

The tried-and-tested Gloria Serenity Resort in Belek, just east of Antalya, was used by Bert van Marwijk’s Socceroos before last year’s men’s World Cup in Russia, and during Graham Arnold’s time in charge before that.

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The plush Mediterranean complex, which is spread out across three separate resorts on Turkey’s south coast, boasts elite training and recovery facilities, gyms, two pristine football pitches and golf courses. Daniel Arzani said last year the huge facility was “ridiculous”.

Ante Milicic’s team will spend 10 days at the resort, which on Tuesday was advertising rooms at $450 a night, before heading to France, where they will play Brazil, Italy and Jamaica in Group C.

“From pristine training pitches to the absolute latest in sports science facilities, our base will provide our players with an unrivalled opportunity to prepare in the lead up to our Group C games,” said Milicic, who knows the resort well having been part of the Socceroos’ coaching setup last year. “Antalya will be the perfect destination for our team to prepare for the forthcoming Fifa Women’s World Cup.”

FFA’s head of national teams, Luke Casserly, said the relationships fostered with the training site over the past 10 months had helped secure the facility once again and would benefit the team in their tilt at the World Cup.

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“The familiarity that many of our staff now have with the destination will help to make the camp both smooth and successful for the team.”

The Matildas will arrive in Turkey on 19 May. Their opening match in France, against Italy, is on 9 June and FFA said more details on the team’s plans before the tournament starts, including any practice matches, will be released over the coming weeks.