Olyroos head coach Josep Gombau insists Australia still has the talent to be a top nation in Asia and reach the Olympics.
Recent Australian U17, U20 and U23 campaigns have been marked by failure. The Olyroos last qualified for the Olympics nine years ago.
Gombau, who took on the Olyroo coaching position in August from Aurelio Vidmar, believes Australia has some quality players in the age group under his care.
“I will speak for my age group – in my age group we have talent, here in Australia and in Europe,” he told FourFourTwo.
“I am happy with it. I think we can do a good job. People speak about the past when we had these players, who was very good, but I was not here then. I am satisfied with the players we have in my age group. I am confident.”
The Olyroos start a six-day camp in Sydney today in preparation for the AFC U23 Championship, China 2018 Qualifiers, to be held in July in Mynamar. Only three of the 24 players chosen for the camp play outside of the A-League.
Gombau said he is happy with the squad at his disposal.
“It’s easier to bring players in from the A-League,” he said.
“You require that these clubs allow them to come because this tournament and the qualifiers are not in a FIFA window. A lot of the players are allowed to come. I am happy with the players I have here. A lot of them are playing regularly.”
The Olyroos will play a match against Sydney FC as part of the training camp.
Gombau said under him the Olyroos will play the same kind of attacking, possession-based football as the Socceroos under Ange Postecoglou, and as Adelaide United did during his time there.
“Yes it’s same style, that’s the way we want to play,” the Spaniard said.
“We want to have the ball, we want to attack, be creative. And also have this balance to win the games, that is very important as they are qualifiers. It’s the same style with the Socceroos, the way that Ange prepares and I prepare for games is very similar.
"It is a difficult one as you don’t have the players so much. (But) it is good as it allows me to grow as a coach. I am enjoying it, it’s a good challenge to make these young players play good football and also help them develop.”