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Mar 3, 2012

Olyroo turns focus to ACL

Salvaging something from the wreckage of the Olyroos' debacle is a tough ask.

But Australian under-23s defender Matt Jurman reckons he can find one positive ahead of his next big assignment - Brisbane Roar's Asian Champions League campaign.

On paper, the Olyroos' London Games qualifying campaign was a disaster - no wins and zero goals in their first five fixtures in the third round ensured that.

However, Jurman, 22, hoped the experience of playing national teams from the Asian Football Confederation during qualifying would benefit the Roar's maiden crack at the ACL.

"Now I know to some extent what to expect from different countries, how the people are and what the teams do," said Jurman, who was joined in the Olyroos' campaign by Roar team-mates Rocky Visconte and Mitch Nichols.

"Some of the teams will play a very different style to the way the teams in the A-League play.

"I think it's good for us to be able to go to Asia and show what we can do on another level.

"We want teams to think about what we're going to do and not about what they're going to do."

Jurman was buzzing over the Roar's ACL campaign which starts on Tuesday night against FC Tokyo at Suncorp Stadium.

"It was a massive disappointment not to be going to the Olympics in London," he said.

"Now I'm more club-focused and I want to do well with Brisbane.

"Hopefully I can help the team do well in some way playing in Asia."

Defending A-League champions the Roar may be experiencing the ACL for the first time but Jurman is more than familiar with the concept.

He featured in six of Sydney FC's ACL group stage fixtures in 2011.

"It was a good experience for me," he said.

"I only played the last 10 or so games in the A-League with Sydney then played all the ACL games.

"We obviously didn't get the best results and we didn't get to the next stage but I think here at Brisbane, it will be good to test ourselves against the best in Asia."

Other Roar players with big-match experience are Kofi Danning (Sydney FC, ACL), Michael Theoklitos (Melbourne Victory, ACL), Andrew Redmayne (Central Coast, ACL), Shane Stefanutto (Lillestrom, UEFA Cup qualifiers) and Besart Berisha (Hamburg, UEFA Champions League).

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