Inside the Olyroos with Jackson Irvine

As Olympics qualifiers loom, Socceroo and Olyroo Jackson Irvine takes you inside the life of an Olyroo in a new blog for Here are his latest thoughts courtesy of the website.

Jackson Irvine coming to you from Inverness where summer, or what people here still try to convince me is summer, is well and truly coming to a close and the season is now in full swing. 

I'm writing with the all to familiar chill of highland air beginning to creep through my windows.

After recently travelling with the Socceroos for their World Cup qualifiers, I’m now looking forward to being back in the Olyroos squad heading to South Korea for the two upcoming friendly games. 

It was a dream come true and a surprise to receive my second call up to the Socceroos squad so my initial reactions were bewilderment and serious excitement. 

It wasn't all excitement though; one of my first thoughts was that I wouldn’t get to see my mates in the Olyroos squad who were travelling to Turkey and Macedonia. Which of course I would never tell them and I hope they don’t read this or they’ll definitely be winding me up...

Now having been recalled I hope to bring some of the maturity and knowledge that some of my fellow Olyroos have also gained from their own Socceroos experiences. 

With the draw for the final stage of qualification for the Olympics made, the Olyroos squad will play the UAE, Jordan and Vietnam in Qatar in January.

Qualification will be extremely difficult to achieve, with three group games taking place over seven days followed by what we hope will be a quarter-final and ultimately a successful semi-final result that will see us book our spot on the plane to Rio. 

With only three spots being competed for by 16 teams we will have to be fully focused and prepared physically and tactically.

The players deploy a number of tactics for keeping themselves occupied during camp. 

Some like to keep to themselves and enjoy a good box set, while others engage in what can only be described as extremely over competitive games of FIFA on the PlayStation, with the stakes being pairs of socks. My video game skills are appalling so I don’t get involved, however I am more than happy to sit back and quietly annoy the people who are losing. 

Somehow by the end of any trip Mustafa Amini seems to head back to Denmark with a suitcase full of white socks. 

It’s been amazing to read the posts of the other athletes and to see the successes of the teams and individuals who have already qualified, and those who are still hoping to do so like ourselves. 

I continually draw inspiration from the hard work and commitment from every blog I read and the Olyroos and I wish the best of luck to other athletes on their journeys.

Peace and love.

For more blogs from the Matildas and Olyroos, head here: