Olyroos coach Aurelio Vidmar should know in a couple of hours if his team is on track with their preparations for the Rio 2016 qualifiers.
Vidmar is expecting a strong showing from his Australian side who face Brazil tonight.
The Aussies are taking part in a four-nation tournament in Wuhan, China, to help prepare the team for the upcoming Asian Under-22 Championships, which also serve as the Olympic qualifers.
Vidmar has named a 22-man squad for the three games with 10 overseas-based players.
“We have been able to get the release of the overseas-based players and these games will help everyone to get a better understanding of the playing style,” he told FourFourTwo.
“It can be difficult as most players are doing many different things at their clubs, but I'm optimistic about their learnings.
“We have only had two sessions with some players coming in late, but I've been pleased with the commitment of the group.
“They are all keen to represent Australia and that's encouraging.
"It is the first time I have worked with these players and I couldn't be more complimentary on their attitude. I'm looking for some strong performances from all of them.”
Vidmar is expecting tough opposition in the five-day tournament, especially from the Brazilian Under-22s.
“Brazil will be a huge challenge that we are looking forward to,” he said.
“They have a lot of their overseas-based players in this squad. Since they are the hosts of the next Olympics they are leaving no stone unturned to have the ultimate success. Since the last Olympic campaign they have played 35 games and have another 16 penned in before Rio.
“China and Korea will also be keen to show they have improved vastly over the last few years and have strong squads.”
Twelve players have been selected from A-League clubs, including Brisbane’s Corey Brown and James Donachie, Victory trio Scott Galloway, Jason Geria and Connor Pain, Perth’s Riley Woodcock and Jack Duncan, Melbourne City’s Stefan Mauk, Newcastle’s Andrew Hoole and Sydney FC’s Corey Gameiro.
Socceroo Jackson Irvine has been picked, along with Fulham’s Cameron Burgess while NK Osikek midfielder Steve Urgarkovic receives his first Australian call-up. The 20-year old Sydneysider moved to Croatia two years ago and has played a handful of games for Croatia’s Under-19s.
“Steve hasn't been in a national set-up for quite a number of years so it's a great opportunity to see him close up,” Vidmar said.
“He has been getting some game time with his club just of late, which is good for his development. I am keen to see how he handles himself at this level.”
PHOTO: Stefan Mauk in an earlier game against Japan. Pic by FFA.comments