Ange Postecoglou says there will be no excuses if the Socceroos do not grow as a team after their FIFA World Cup campaign in Brazil, where the world’s elite await.
The national team coach has selected a youthful 30-man provisional squad ahead of next month's tournament in Brazil, where Australia will meet talented South American side Chile and the two 2010 finalists, holders Spain and three-time runners-up the Netherlands.
And while plenty has been made of the scale of the task facing Group B's underdogs, Postecoglou - with January's Asian Cup and future World Cup qualifying campaigns in mind - has chosen to focus on the positives of the invaluable exposure to top-level football his players are set to receive.
"(It's) a massive challenge but also a massive opportunity to lay some solid foundations moving forward," he told FFA TV.
"We are going to take a young group across ... the majority of them, this will be their first World Cup, facing the best in the world.
"From my perspective, there's an enormous opportunity there, because coming out of this World Cup, after having faced the best, there'll be no excuse for us to continually progress beyond there, there should be no barriers for us.
"I'm sure we're going to have some major obstacles on that road, but again, as I said, a tremendous opportunity for us."
Australia play a farewell friendly against South Africa in Sydney on May 26, before a warm-up clash with Croatia on June 6.
The meeting with Bafana Bafana is being viewed as a potential morale booster two days before the flight to South America, as well as a tactical run-through ahead of the Chile opener on June 13.
Send Off the Socceroos
Socceroos vs South Africa, presented by NAB
Monday 26 May 2014
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Tickets from $30, including public transport. Buy now!
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