Tony Gustavsson reacts to Westfield Matildas' Olympic draw

The Westfield Matildas have learnt their fate after being drawn in Group G for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 

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For Tony Gustavsson, who will be at his third Olympics but first in a head coach role, Tokyo 2020 can't begin soon enough. 

Australia will come up against the USA, Sweden, and New Zealand in a group filled with epic storylines and plenty of familiar faces.

"Obviously, it's a tough draw in terms of top ranked teams from each pot. But it also means we have a lot of knowledge about the teams." Gustavsson told matildas.com.au.

"Sweden, I know a lot about for natural reasons. The US, I've been working with for years. And then obviously, all my staff know a lot about New Zealand as well. So we have a good insight of what we're facing."


Gustavsson is looking forward to the challenge Group G presents with the likes of the reigning FIFA Women's World Cup champions, the reigning Olympic silver medallists, and a perennial opponent for the Aussies.

The Olympics offer the team more major tournament experience with one eye on the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup on home soil.

"But I do look forward to making sure that this team is challenged against the best because we're on a long journey to prepare for the 2023 Women’s World Cup as well."

"Let's just face the best in the group stage and do the best we can to get out of that group and then everything can happen."

Now that the Westfield Matildas know their opponents, preparations can ramp up to a whole new level. 

REVEALED: Westfield Matildas learn Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games opponents

READ: Matildas Abroad: goals galore, Macca in midfield

"I think first and foremost, now we know who we're going to face in the group stage, it’s doing the analysis as well as possible.  Now it’s nailing down these three opponents in the group stage to have a plan and a game plan for each one of them." Gustavsson said. 

With limited opportunities to get the squad together before the Olympics, the focus is on maximising the time the team does have and the work that can be done individually.  

"It's about making sure we are in contact with individual players in the clubs because most of the actual development is going to happen in club land. That's where most of the games are going to be played, that's where most of the trainings are going to be held."

"When we do come together and have those few days, which is a little bit too few but we're going to make the most out of them, is to make sure that we get the team to gel as soon as possible.

"We’ll get all those qualities together, have a really clear idea of what we want to do on the pitch, have everyone see that same picture, and then off we go."


The Tokyo tournament is special for Australian football with the Westfield Matildas and Olyroos both qualifying for an Olympic Games for the first time since 2004. 

It's an incredible moment not only for the nation but for the players and coaches involved, and Gustavsson is keenly aware of the honour of going to an Olympics. 

"I'm feeling privileged, and like [Graham Arnold, Olyroos coach] said in one of the talks we had earlier today, not many people actually get to represent their country in an Olympics."

"It's a privilege. So it's taking in that moment and appreciating every single minute of being part of an Olympics."