Former Socceroo Tony Vidmar has been charged with leading the Olyroos’ bid to qualify for the Paris Olympics and is confident the talent is there to deliver future success.
Vidmar, a member of Graham Arnold’s Socceroos coaching staff who was assistant coach to last year’s Olyroos in Tokyo, will take charge of the under-23 program after Australia’s World Cup campaign concludes.
“It’s an important group of players where they’re still in that link of development, the final phase of development but then also ready to step up to that next phase of national team football,” Vidmar told reporters.
“But also it’s not only for the next two years, I think we also need to look at having a plan for the next eight years until 2032 in Brisbane.
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“That’s probably part of the discussion that we had that we’ve got to look at the big picture, the long-term development of this group of players because it’s a unique experience and a unique situation.
“A lot of champions have come from this Olympic team into national team football and overseas football and we want that to continue we want to be creating more champions to play for Australia.”
Vidmar was part of the famous Olyroos squad at Barcelona in 1992 and was confident the talent was there in the upcoming pool of players.
“There are players coming through and now we just need to get the best out of them,” he said.
“What we’ve probably seen over the last three years is there’s a huge jump in playing time for this group of players and we can only see that improving.
“A lot of players, especially in this country, are getting game time. I think that that will continue on and now we just require these players to step up and be standouts at their clubs.”
Football Australia chief executive James Johnson said Vidmar was “absolutely the right person” to lead the Olyroos, while his appointment coincides with plans to get youth national teams playing more games.
As Vidmar will be away with the Socceroos, Trevor Morgan will coach the Olyroos in their upcoming Under-23 Asian Cup campaign, which does not count towards Olympic qualification.
A squad will be named next week with players and staff to assemble in Uzbekistan for a pre-tournament training camp from May 23.
Meanwhile, Johnson said FA’s process of looking for a ‘chief football officer’ was “in full swing”, with the governing body looking at both local and overseas candidates.