NSW Born stars Keanu Baccus, Mitchell Duke, Tom Glover, Joel King and Kye Rowles will all be donning the Green and Gold after the Australian Olympic Committee announced the 18-member men’s Football team for Tokyo 2020, with the ‘Olyroos’ returning to the Olympic arena for the first time since Beijing 2008.
It will be a special moment for Kings Park’s Baccus, Lurnea’s Duke, Bangor’s Glover, Figtree’s King and Kiama’s Rowles were all included in the squad bound for Tokyo.
Coached by Seoul 1988 Olympian Graham Arnold, Australia’s ambitious men’s Football team for Tokyo 2020 includes players currently playing for clubs across the A-League, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
Many members of the squad have enjoyed recent success at club and international level, with Denis Genreau, Connor Metcalfe, Harry Souttar and Mitchell Duke starring for the Socceroos in June, Nathaniel Atkinson, Tom Glover, and Joel King featuring in Sunday’s A-League Grand Final in Melbourne, and youngster Caleb Watts making his Premier League debut in England last season.
The Olyroos qualified for the Games in January 2020, with Nicholas D’Agostino’s second half strike against Uzbekistan lifting Australia to an emotional Asian Qualifying Tournament victory in the winner takes all playoff in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Olympic tournament features under-23 players, with three overage players eligible for selection. The delay to Tokyo 2020 resulted in an extension of the age group, so any player eligible for the initial competition dates in 2020 remains eligible for the Games this year.
Today’s announcement takes the number of athletes selected for the Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo past 300 of an expected 450-480 team size.
The Olyroos have been drawn in Group C with Egypt, Spain and Argentina, and will open their campaign on 22 July in Sapporo against the Argentinians.
Coach Graham Arnold said the team could shock the world in Tokyo.
“It is such a special moment and special time, I am really excited to get to Japan, I can’t wait,” Arnold said.
“My expectations are that we are going to shock the world and we are going to go out there, play on the front foot, we’re not going to go out there trying not to lose the game, we are going out there expecting to win the game and it doesn’t matter who we play.”
“The players that have been selected they are all excited, they are all grateful for the opportunity and the chance. The strength of the Socceroos is the Olyroos and I do expect these kids to really step up.
“People might want to look at it as a ‘Group of Death’ but for me it is a ‘Group of Dreams’. It is what you dream about and you want to play these types of teams (Argentina, Spain, Egypt) and test yourself against the best in the world.”
Australian Olympic Team for Tokyo – Men’s Football
|Keanu Baccus||Midfielder||23||Debut||Kings Park||NSW||2148|
|Riley McGree||Midfielder||22||Debut||Gawler East||SA||5118|
|Ruon Tongyik*||Defender||24||Debut||West Gosford||NSW||2250|
*All players participating in the Tokyo 2020 Men’s Football Tournament must be born on or after 1 January 1997. However, a maximum of three (3) players who do not meet this age limit may also be included in the official list of players for the final competition. Mitchell Duke (born 18 January 1991) and Ruon Tongyik (born 28 December 1996) have been selected as Australia’s overage players for Tokyo 2020.
Cameron Devlin, Jordan Holmes (goalkeeper), Ramy Najjarine and Lachlan Wales have been named as the Train On Players. If called up to the team due to injury or other circumstances, they would be selected to the Australian Olympic Team at that time.
The Football competition will run from 22 July – 8 August at venues around Japan. Find out more about Football at the Olympics in the infographic below.
Today’s announcement takes the number of athletes selected past 300 of expected 450-480. Catch all the latest team info, stats and athlete bios at www.olympics.com.au/games/tokyo-2020/team/