Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou urged sports fans to embrace the “theatre” of the 2015 Asian Cup as the region’s largest football tournament hit the 100 days to go milestone.
To mark the occasion, a specially designed Nike ball to be used during January’s Cup in Australia was unveiled and later presented to representatives of the 16 participating nations in Kuala Lumpur.
Speaking at a function in Sydney - attended by football ambassadors Brett Emerton and Ali Abbas, prominent media and business leaders - Postecoglou said the Australian public love their sport to be “fair dinkum”.
“There won’t be any friendlies in these games,” he said.
“Regardless of who’s playing every contest will have a story and every contest will be willing because the smaller nations who’ve qualified for the Asian Cup, this is their pinnacle.
“They don’t get to World Cups so this is their opportunity for their glory, as we saw with Iraq two tournaments back.
“When the Australian public get a sense of that and the whole theatre of it, I’ve not doubt they’ll get behind it once the tournament is on.
“January will be an exciting time."
The Socceroos boss also brushed off any suggestion of complacency in the green and gold camp heading into the tournament.
“Even pre-World Cup we scouted every Asian team at the World Cup,” he said.
“We’ve got people on the ground everywhere.
“We’re not underestimating the enormity of this challenge.
“There won’t be anything any Asian team has done over the last six months – whether they’re in our group or not – that we won’t know about. The one thing we won’t be short of is preparation.”
He added: “One thing we won’t be doing is being that arrogant that we’re thinking about doing things before we’ve done the hard work.
“Our job is to prepare the team for a really, really tough tournament – our focus in on preparing for that first game in Melbourne (against Kuwait).”
The Socceroos will be looking to win their first AFC Asian Cup when Asia’s biggest football tournament heads to Australia in January 2015.
The 32 matches over 23 days will be played in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Newcastle with the Socceroos kicking off the tournament against Kuwait in Melbourne on January 9.
For more information visit www.afcasiancup.comcomments