Ahead of a year that promises to provide him with a hectic schedule, Brisbane Roar midfielder Mitch Nichols is ready for the challenges that stand in front of him.
Brisbane Roar will embark on their first campaign in the AFC Champions League amidst the upcoming 27-game Hyundai A-League season, with Nichols also earmarked as part of the Qantas Olyroos squad to compete in next year’s Olympic Games in London, should Australia qualify.
After a stellar year in the Roar midfield that saw his swift transition from club substitute to a regular in Head Coach Ange Postecoglou’s starting eleven, the 22-year-old said he was focused on maintain his form in the off-season to ensure he is peaking once regular football rolls around again.
“I had a good season last year, but I’ve got to make sure I carry on from that,” he said.
“We’ve just had a week off and it was good to have a week off football but now we’re back in and we’ve got thirteen weeks until the season starts,”
“Pre-season is about trying to cement your spot in the team once the A-League season starts and I’m looking to do that.”
The Qantas Olyroos were drawn alongside Iraq, Uzbekistan and the UAE in Group B of the third round of Asian qualifiers for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
Countries from the Asian Football Confederation are allotted 3.5 slots for the tournament with the winners of each group automatically progressing and the three second-placed teams playing off to meet the winners of the Confederation of African Football for an Olympics Games berth.
Despite the tough draw, Nichols was confident in Australia’s ability to qualify especially given their recent strong performances in a double header against Yemen in the second round of qualifiers.
“The draw came out the other day and we’ve got a tough group, it’s going to be a busy schedule with all the Olyroos games during the season but I’m looking forward to it all,” he said.
“We’ve spent a fair bit of time together this off-season with our friendly against Japan over there and the two games against Yemen so we know each other well which helps with the football and we hope will give us good preparation for the next lot of qualifiers.”