IT’S been a busy summer for Massimo Luongo. Whilst most of his team-mates packed up for their holidays following the final game of the season at the beginning of May, the same cannot be said of the Australian midfielder.
Luongo had to jet off to his home country and play in a crucial World Cup Qualifier against Saudi Arabia, a game which they won 3-2. He was given some time off before the Confederation Cup tournament but, as he explained to www.qpr.co.uk, it never really felt like a holiday.
He said: “We (Australia) had the qualifier, which was a really important game that we had to be right for and, even with the three-week gap, I couldn’t stop.
“I had to keep myself fit by going to the park and made sure my body was conditioned right. I wanted to make sure I was at the same level of the boys around Europe whose season just finished.”
It’s perhaps a sign of his character that the long trips to Australia throughout the season and lack of downtime this summer does not seem to have bothered him.
The Socceroos were knocked out of the Confederations Cup in the group stages but the experience has done the Rangers midfield man the world of good.
“It’s been a brilliant experience facing the teams that I came across over the break, and was great to test myself against some of the best in the world,” Luongo explained.
“International football is always quite busy but it’s just something I’ve got to adapt to and make sure I’m professional. When I’m back here it’s important to listen to the staff and sports science department to make sure my body is in the right condition for the first game of the season.”
Now back at Harlington, Luongo is ready to go give everything for his club side and recognises the importance of the trip to Germany and the friendly against Bournemouth with there now just over two weeks until the season begins.
Mass added: “I’ve had three days when I’ve been training separately, so I was so glad that today I was able to get amongst it with the boys.
“I’ve done two days of testing and then we had a team day yesterday, and today I was working with the ball. I’m hopefully going to get some minutes in one of the two games in Germany and I’m looking forward to spending some time with the lads out there.”
And the midfielder is looking forward to getting back on the pitch, confessing that pre-season training can at times be long-winded - albeit he is impressed with the fitness levels that his fellow team-mates are at.
“The boys have obviously had the training camp in Portugal and a few games and are looking really sharp,” Luongo concluded. “Pre-seasons can be a bit long and tedious when you train for around six weeks for the season to start, but the good thing about the internationals is that it hasn’t been the case for me.
“I’ve basically had two weeks off and now the Germany game and a big match against Bournemouth, so it’s come around quickly and allows me to focus for our first league match against Reading.”