Aaron Mooy has revealed that he only started ball work this week as his move to Celtic was completed.
The midfielder played two internationals in June to help Australia through to the World Cup Finals in Qatar but has only been working on his physical fitness through the summer.
It shouldn’t take Mooy too long to get his touch back but with the friendly matches completed tomorrow it could be a couple of weeks before the 31-year-old is ready to compete for a place in the Celtic side.
Speaking to The Sun, Mooy admitted:
Earlier in the summer the national team knew I was sort of in limbo after leaving China, so they had one of their fitness coaches come out and train me in Scotland.
There’s a local park near my house. There were people walking their dogs during the day and there I was legging it. A few young kids kicking the ball around recognised me but it wasn’t too bad. I was mainly just doing running and just general fitness stuff.
I was really motivated because they were important games coming up. I didn’t really need that much motivation because I was hungry to be there.
Then we went to Dubai and it was more professional. A bunch of the team, which was good. It was obviously an amazing time for me and for Australia to qualify for the World Cup.
I hadn’t actually touched the ball since then. I only just started training two days ago. I did some fitness testing the other day, and then on Thursday it was just some football with the reserve team.
It was nice to touch the ball again, but you need time to get up to speed and try to be in the best shape possible.
Mooy’s club career has effectively been on hold for two years but the regularity of international football has kept him sharp over the last six months.
Winning a place in the Celtic midfield will be no easy task with Callum McGregor a fixture in the side with Reo Hatate, Matt O’Riley and David Turnbull all looking fit and sharp in pre-season matches.
Mooy should get some time against Norwich but after that the real action begins as Ange Postecoglou sets out to defend the SPFL title and prepare his squad for the Champions League.