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Matildas’ cut-throat race for Tokyo Olympics begins with Chile test

“You have to take that into consideration when you pick your squad and you look at it purely based on the fact of the games, the rest period, the quality of opposition, the travel,” he said. “When you are away for an extended period of time, away from home and in a tournament scenario, you learn a lot from the group, what players can give on and off the park.”

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The Matildas’ exit in the quarter-finals of the World Cup was deemed a disappointment in the eyes of many.  They entered the tournament as a potential dark horse for the title. They will have a chance to atone for that at the Olympics, and Milicic has already cast an eye on how the Matildas can succeed.

“We are just really looking for players that can train at the intensity that is required, that can fit and execute the playing style, really just build what we have been working on since I have been in charge,” he said.

Football Federation Australia sources hope to attract 20,000 fans on Saturday, having already sold more than 17,000 tickets by Friday afternoon.

“We are looking forward to being back home and looking forward to the opportunity to play in a fantastic stadium like this here and with a good crowd expected. It’s a good occasion for these girls to put on a good performance,” Milicic said.

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