Australian goalkeeper Jordan Holmes says the Olyroos can buck the trend and reach the Olympics in three years time.
Holmes was part of Josep Gombau’s Under-23 training camp held in Sydney last week ahead of the qualifiers in July in Myanmar for next year’s AFC U-21 Championship.
The Olyroos have to top the group, or be one of the five second-placed teams in Myanmar, to qualify for the 2018 Championship in China. The top teams from that tournament will then book their spot for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The Olyroos have failed to qualify for an Olympics since Beijing in 2008 and they have struggled in Asian competition. But Holmes is confident this collection of Australian players is different and can succeed.
“I think this group of players can 100% buck the trend,” the keeper told FourFourTwo.
“We are a talented team with great players so wouldn't see why shouldn't we challenge against the bigger name teams.”
Holmes, who is on the books at English Premier League club AFC Bournemouth, has enjoyed his time under Gombau in Sydney.
“It’s been great meeting new players for the first time, it's been great under Josep and the management team and everyone has been really good with me,” he said.
“Words cannot describe how happy I was to receive an Olyroos call-up. I’m proud of how far I have come in such a small space of time.”
The majority of the squad for Myanmar will be selected from the training camp in Sydney. Holmes was one of four goalkeepers at the camp along with Tom Glover, Paul Izzo and Daniel Margush who are all battling for selection in July.
“I would love to be part of the squad that goes to Myanmar and play but at the end of the day it's down to management and who ever they pick I'm sure will do a great job,” Holmes said.
Now 20, Holmes joined Bournemouth in 2013 at the age of 16. He has worked his way up the ranks at the Cherries and has a contract with the club until June 2018.
Originally from Sydney’s Sutherland Shire, Holmes spent six months of last season on loan at National League South club Eastbourne Borough FC.
“The club season was great all round, especially going out on loan to Eastbourne Borough from January through to the end of season,” he said.
“It was a great experience playing week in week out and playing for three points every game.”
Photo credit: AFC Bournemouth