21/04/2024

Graham Arnold's men will face Egypt, Spain and Argentina in Tokyo. Picture: socceroos.com.au

The Olyroos will face tough opposition in Tokyo and Simon Hill believes that getting out of the group would be a great achievement.

The Olympics are now just weeks away with the Olyroos set to carry the hopes of a nation. Football commentator Simon Hill believes that getting out of the group would be a tremendous effort.

Hill spoke exclusively with The Inner Sanctum regarding how important the upcoming tournament is for players to be involved in.

“Of course, it’s important, these are big events,” Hill said.

“For the men, they haven’t been there for 12-13 years. So, this is a once in a generational opportunity for some of these players. I think it is important as well for Graham Arnold to develop players for the Socceroos, it is a little bit different for the Matildas obviously.

“You have the senior players playing for the Matildas in the women’s events. The same at the World Cup but for the Socceroos this is also a development tournament, giving our players vital experience in tournament play against top nations.

“We are going to play Spain, Egypt, and Argentina and maybe others if we get through that.

“So, this is vital for these players, it is not just about waving the flag, but it’s also about gaining experience and having a wonderful life experience.

“You know there’s not many people who can say that they are an Olympian. You are going to be part of the Athlete’s Village. The opening ceremony if they have it due to COVID, I don’t know whether they are going to, all that stuff is iconic.

“What a great experience for young people to go and do that, so yeah of course it’s important.”

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The Olyroos could have a tough time in Tokyo given the group. Facing off against Spain, Argentina, and Egypt, Graham Arnold will have his work cut out. However, Simon Hill believes that just getting out of the group stage would be a success for the Olyroos.

“Look, I know Arnie is saying it’s the group of dreams. We are going to target a medal and I think that’s very laudable,” Hill Said.

“I’m not saying they can’t do that, but I think it’s going to be tough for them. What they are up against in the group is very difficult. We have not played at a men’s Olympics in many years, so they are going to be a bit green.

“We have got quality in the squad no doubt, and I am pleased to see Daniel Arzani in there. I think he gives us a bit of an X-Factor.

“I don’t know what his level of fitness is at the moment and I know he hasn’t played a lot of football, but you need those special players when you are playing top teams.

“Unfortunately, in this group that is what we are doing, we are playing the top teams. We are playing Spain, Argentina, and Egypt.

“I don’t know if Egypt are going to select Mo Salah. But if they do, that’s the level of player that you are dealing with. I have no doubt in that with Spain and Argentina, whoever they pick, because they have such great depth, they will be terrific players. So, it is going to be tough.

“I think getting out of the group would be a really good achievement, to be honest. But that is probably not going to be enough for Arnie, but I would say that’s a pass mark.”

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