POSTED: Thursday December 3rd 2009

Qantas Socceroos announce FIFA 2010 World Cup Base Camp

Kloofzicht Lodge is located about 45 minutes drive from both Johannesburg and Pretoria.

A secluded wildlife and fishing lodge in rural Johannesburg will be the base camp for the Qantas Socceroos during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Head Coach Pim Verbeek announced today.


The Qantas Socceroos will take over Kloofzicht Lodge and its 42 cabins for the duration of next year’s FIFA World Cup, providing the team with a relaxed and private environment when they are not training and playing.


Kloofzicht Lodge is located about 45 minutes drive from both Johannesburg and Pretoria and is nestled in the foothills of the Zwartkops Mountains in the World Heritage listed Cradle of Humankind.


The five-star venue has eight conference and meeting rooms, six fly fishing dams and kilometres of walking tracks.


It is a small nature reserve and home to kudu, impala, blue wildebeest, eland, red hartebeest, springbuck, gemsbok, zebra, giraffe and an array of bird life.


Importantly it is situated at altitude and near Johannesburg’s second airport which is expected to be used primarily for players and team officials during the World Cup Finals starting on June 11.


The team will train daily at Ruimsig Stadium, only a fifteen minute bus ride from Kloofzicht Lodge and away from Johannesburg’s often crowded roads.


Verbeek said the team could drive to several FIFA match venues from the base camp.


“We are very pleased to have settled on our plans and we think this development is a major coup for our preparations at a stage when some other nations are still looking for a base,” Verbeek said.


“It is a terrific venue and allows the players to relax in secure privacy once their daily training and playing commitments are over.


“There are some major benefits from being based there including the fact it and the training venue are close and at altitude and it is quiet, safe and serviced by some really good accommodation and meeting room facilities.


“It will give our players a good chance to relax and re-cooperate during what will be a very hectic and exciting tournament.”


Head of National Teams and Football Development John Boultbee said detailed research had gone into the decision.


“Being last to qualify in 2006 meant we had a very short time to get organised, but this time we have been ahead of the game and worked on our base camp since last year,” Boultbee said.


“We settled on the Johannesburg/Pretoria area early on for two reasons - first: altitude.


“Our analysis shows that whatever the draw we are more than likely to play between two and three games at the group stages at altitude.   


“Detailed research shows we need to be well acclimatised to play at altitude both in physiological terms and the way the ball travels in the air. 


“Secondly, the base we have been able to secure is within driving distance of two of the three group match venues and close to the airport which FIFA will use to link to the other venues.


‘Quality venues in the Johannesburg area are at a premium for these reasons and we are very happy to have secured one of the very best which was in fact our first choice venue.”


The Qantas Socceroos are expected to move into Kloofzicht Lodge about five days before the tournament starts. They will spend up to two weeks before that based in the Da Vinci Hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg as part of a preparation camp.


The squad will train each day during the preparation camp at the specially upgraded Wayne Joubert Field pitch at the exclusive St Stithians College.


Rod Allen

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