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UPDATE: WA boys up for Rio challenge

From left: Brandon O'Neill, Cameron Burgess, Adam Taggart, Ryan Edwards and Scott Galloway.

UPDATE: WA boys up for Rio challenge

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Adam Taggart has urged his Olyroos teammates to seize a unique opportunity as the Australian team aims to qualify for this year's Rio Olympic Games.

Football West News

Taggart is one of five WA players in an Australian squad that kicked off their AFC U23 Championship in Qatar with a 1-0 defeat to the United Arab Emirates at the Grand Hamad Stadium.

He is the only member of the entire squad to have experienced a major tournament in Brazil having played for Australia at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

“It was unbelievable,” he said, reflecting on his performances against Spain and Holland at the Brazil World Cup.

“I think everyone has an idea about how crazy that place is for football but after being there, there are no words that can describe it. For me, it’s just about reinforcing (to my teammates) what an experience it will be.”

Football has been a major part of the Olympic Games program for many years and regularly draws huge crowds to important fixtures. Taggart believes the mix of Olympic hype and Brazil’s passion for football will create a special experience for players.

“It’s something you’ll never forget, especially for this group of players, who’ve come through the system for so many years now,” he said. “To get there would be a special time.”

Taggart, who has returned to Fulham after a loan spell at Dundee United, is surrounded by familiar Western Australian faces with Cameron Burgess (Fulham), Ryan Edwards (Partick Thistle), Brandon O’Neill (Sydney FC) and Scott Galloway (Melbourne Victory) also in the team.

Former Perth Glory midfielder Danny De Silva was not granted release from his Dutch club Roda JC Kerkrade to join the squad in the Qatar.

The Olyroos' campaign did not start well when the UAE grabbed a fortuitous winner in the 85th minute of this morning's match.

The Olyroos also play Vietnam, on Sunday, and Jordan, on Wednesday, with the top two teams in each of four groups progressing to the quarter-finals. The top three teams in the tournament qualify for the Rio Olympics.

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