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Olyroos ready to seize ‘opportunity of a lifetime’, declares Arnold

Al Hassan Toure will be a key player for the Olyroos.

Al Hassan Toure will be a key player for the Olyroos.Credit:AAP

“We’ve got two players in this squad who’ve played for the Socceroos – Alex Gersbach and Thomas Deng. We should have 10.

“I do presentations to them and I’ve shown them the journey of the career of Mark Bresciano, Jason Culina, Vince Grella. These guys never played for the Socceroos until after the Olympics.

“It’s an opportunity of a lifetime to play at an Olympics.”

Arnold has a completely fit squad to pick from with the exception of Melbourne City midfielder Denis Genreau, who has recovered from a shoulder injury but won’t be risked against Iraq, who are ranked fifth in Asia for the under-23s age group.

Australia are 11th, but Arnold is typically bullish about their prospects and is confident they will possess the cutting edge in front of goal that has often eluded this country’s junior national teams at key moments.

Rising Adelaide United star Al Hassan Toure, who scored in a friendly against South Korea last week, looms as the man who will lead the attacking line for the Olyroos.


“We’ve done quite a bit of video work with him, his runs in the box, what we looked at from Adelaide compared to what we want,” Arnold said.

“Our frontline, we have a lot of options, a lot of variations on how the game is going, and Toure will be very important in that. Since we’ve been here in Bangkok, it’s been all about actions in the final third and making sure players are running into the right spaces to score goals, the ruthlessness in front of goals and finishing. We’re seeing some very good mentality with that.”

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