Focused: Australian players warm up at a training session at ANZ Stadium.

Focused: Australian players warm up at a training session at ANZ Stadium. Photo: Getty Images

South Africa may not have the pedigree of Chile, the Netherlands or Spain, but the Bafana Bafana present the first obstacle standing in the way of Ange Postecoglou's ultimate World Cup goal – to restore pride in the national team.  

Three hefty losses in their past four games on the back of a narrow qualification to the World Cup dented the international standing of the Australian game. The task of returning to form against the Socceroos' three group B opponents is momentous enough for Postecoglou to denounce result-based goals, but his realistic hopes of making the green and gold a jersey of pride start with Monday night's friendly against South Africa in Sydney. 

The visitors are without a host of big-name stars, have little to prepare for in the immediate future but are undergoing their own rejuvenation, which is being noticed by Postecoglou. Australia's coach ruled out experimentation, citing the fact he's "not a scientist" and will use the match to lay the foundations of the style of play that can make the Socceroos a source of pride for the nation. 

"Our pass mark will be that we're measuring ourselves with the best. If we come out of this World Cup and all you people and the general public are saying 'you know what, I'm looking forward to watching the team again' then I reckon we've done the job we want. That could mean anything in terms of results but from my perspective, what we will do is really measure ourselves and we will find out where we're at," Postecoglou said. 

Monday's match in front of an expected crowd of 50,000 at Sydney's Olympic Park will provide a snapshot of the tactics the new-look Socceroos will deliver  in Brazil in three weeks for their first group game against Chile.  But the starting line-up on Monday night will not be indicative of that for the World Cup. Injuries, fitness and personnel changes will force Postecoglou to make a number of alterations as he'll use the match and all six available substitutions to assess those who are on trial for places. 

"Some of it [the tactics] will be [on display], yeah, not the whole thing but we've got other objectives tomorrow night, too," Postecoglou said. "We want to use the game to maintain and ... in many respects top-up the fitness of many certain players. It won't be exactly a replica but certainly some of the elements of it will be some of the stuff we want to work on for the Chile game."

A number of hopefuls will have their chance to strengthen their credentials for a place in the final 23-man World Cup squad with a strong performance against South Africa but that alone will not determine their selection. 

"I think in terms of the travelling party in my mind, I'm pretty much at the point where I know which of the guys will travel. In terms of the overall group the objectives are still the same," Postecoglou said. 

Tim Cahill will captain Australia against South Africa in the absence of the injured Mile Jedinak and while he's honoured to wear the armband in the farewell match, his role doesn't change the way he will play.

"For me, nothing will change. The main focus is making sure that everyone knows their jobs and we're going in with a strong intent to be as professional with a great attitude on and off the park to produce some great football," Cahill said. 

Former Socceroo greats Mark Schwarzer, Brett Emerton and Jason Culina will be honoured by a short ceremony before kick-off.