Caitlin Foord says the pain of the Matildas under performing at the 2016 Olympics is motivating the team towards high aspirations in Tokyo next month.
The Australians are together in camp in Europe as they sharpen their skills and tactics for the Games under coach Tony Gustavsson.
Foord was part of the squad which was knocked out in the quarter-finals in Rio de Janiero five years ago. The Shellharbour talent told the ABC Football Podcast that she didn't want history to repeat in 2021.
"For a lot of us, that was our first Olympics and it was an experienced that you dreamed of us as a kid. And as bad it probably sounds, even just being there meant you had done it," Foord said.
"But we fell short on what we wanted to do and the disappointment of that, and the experience going into this one will drive the team to go those steps better. It's not every day that you get to go to the Olympics. And we knew how hard it was to get to the Olympics, so we don't want to let this one slip up.
"I think there's a lot of confidence in us, and so there should be. The support from Australia definitely pushes us to want to do better. It's a dream of ours to come home with a medal and I hope we can do that for ourselves and Australia as well."
Despite being only 26, Foord is now one of the team's veterans, having represented the Matildas on more than 80 occasions.
Foord - alongside the likes of captain Sam Kerr and Claire Polkinghorne - are driving the team's standards ahead of the Olympics.
"I think our team is full of leaders in a way. We all came in at a young age and we still have some veterans within the team," she said.
"I think it's the drive of knowing what we did last time, and we know how much more it takes to not want to leave a stone unturned along the way. And I think that's where we can come in with our experience and drive that, and keep pushing the team. Those heartbreaks that we've had, we don't want to feel that again. And I guess that comes with experience."
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The Matildas are set to fly to Tokyo in the next fortnight before taking on Japan in a warm-up game on July 14.
After holding Sweden 0-0 to a draw earlier this month, Foord believes the Aussies are growing in confidence and continued to work hard on improving.
"It's been the perfect time to come together and get a good block of training in, but the last two weeks have been pretty tough," Foord said.
"There's been massive strides. We started off a bit shaky the first time we were back together (5-2 loss to Germany). But each game, there's been improvements. And you can see and feel those improvements . I think that's why this time has been great for us and we still have two weeks until we head over. There's been so much improvement and I know within these two weeks there will be more. Being away for so long, you kind of forgot how each other plays. I knew from the start that we needed to be together and why this time is very good for us.
"Leading into Tokyo, I think it's the best preparation for us moving forward."
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