June 11, 2004
Australia optimistic about their chances in 2004 Athens Olympic Group G play
After hearing the results of the draw, Australia Head Coach Adrian Santras said that he was confident that his squad could perform well in the group.
It's not a horrific draw - it would be if it was a group of three with USA and Brazil, but it's not bad when you look at it," said Santrac. "Greece being part of our group makes it quite interesting, and having the number two and sixth ranked teams deserves a lot of respect. But we won't be conceding any results to them."
"Greece have had some reasonable results over recent times - not against the top-ranked European teams, but quite good sides. That tells us they are still very much a developing nation. It will be interesting to see how they handle the pressure of a home Olympics. Their strength is their home ground advantage. While we're mindful of their ranking , we haven't played against them nor seen them play."
"In order for us to get through (to the quarterfinals), we need to ensure awin, whether we target all three rather than just Greece - we don't want to set ourselves a goal that's limiting."
Coach Santrac feels that the opening game against Brazil will set the stage for Australia's performance at the Olympics. He said, "We face Brazil in the opening game who are young but an outstanding team. But they've got to stand up to the pressure of the first game too. The opening twenty minutes will be particularly interesting. If our squad's able to assert themselves early, upset them a little bit, then you never know what might happen. That would then set up a great encounter against Greece. I'm far happier with the schedule than if US was our first game. I'm looking at this quite optimistically."