Wollongong's Dylan Ryan is confident the Olyroos' extensive preparations for the AFC Under 23 Championships have set the team up for a successful tournament.
The side's campaign kicks off with a match against Iraq in Thailand on Wednesday night, with the competition also doubling as an Olympic qualification event.
With Australian coach Graham Arnold determined to ensure the Olyroos return to the Olympics for the first time since 2008, the planning for the tournament has been underway since the side qualified last March.
Training camps in Wollongong, Qatar and China were staged last year and Ryan said the progression within the side has been clear.
"The team's improved massively since we had a camp in Wollongong," Ryan said. "I wasn't at that one, then I was at the Qatar and China camps.
"The team's varied with different players coming in and out, we've found our squad now, we gel well as a group of lads and as a team and we're prepared to take on this first game."
Australia's preparations concluded on Friday with a 1-1 draw with South Korea, Ryan featuring in the opening 45 minutes before all 11 starters were replaced.
The Olyroos have been grouped with Iraq, Thailand and Bahrain for the competition, a top-two finish required to progress to the quarter-finals.
While Ryan, who joined the Liverpool Junior Academy as a 15-year-old and currently plays for Dutch club Willem Il Tilburg, concedes he knows little about the team's opponents, he has full confidence his side can emerge from the group if they play to their potential.
"It was a good game (against Korea), I played the first 45 minutes, it was nil-all at half-time, the game ended up 1-1. It was a good performance by us, South Korea are a good team.
"We're a confident group of lads, we're prepared to take on any team.
"First we've got to get out of the group stage, that's our main priority. We don't want to look too far into the competition, we'll take each game as it comes. We'll focus on the first, then the second and getting through the group."
The Olyroos must finish in the top-three at the tournament to qualify for the Tokyo Games, with Ryan hoping to become the Illawarra's first male footballer to feature at the Olympics since Luke Wilkshire played in Athens.
Wilkshire used that tournament as a springboard to the Socceroos and he urged Ryan to make the most of this opportunity to gain international experience.
"These opportunities don't come around every day," Wilkshire said. "When you get the opportunity, you have to grab it with both hands, I have no doubt Dylan will be. It's not something to take likely, the opportunity to be among the national setup. I'm sure he'll be fully focused and take it with both hands.
"It's a different setup playing at the Olympics, it's different to any other tournament or playing for your club. It's a massive opportunity and one you don't want to miss out on.
"Everything in the Olyroos helps prepare you to go on to be a Socceroo. The experience of being away in camp, training day in, day out, living and breathing football.
"That environment helps prepare you, you can talk about it all you like, but until you're there in the environment, you never really know what it's like."
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