Australia is looking forward to the challenge of facing host nation Iran in the quarter-finals of the AFC U-16 Championship 2012 on Sunday (11.30pm AEST) in Tehran.
Local media is calling for the Iranian public to pack the stadium to watch what promises to be the game of the tournament so far, with not only a berth in the semi-finals on offer, but also a place at the FIFA U-17 World Cup which will be held in the United Arab Emirates next year.
On the eve of such an important match, Joeys coach Alistair Edwards believes that there is a real sense of excitement within the camp at the moment.
"We are all excited about taking on the host nation, there is an air of expectancy around Iran as everyone has memories of the 1997 (senior) World Cup qualification game's between the two countries," said Edwards.
"I’m really proud to see these young Aussie players, with an Aussie coaching staff, bring everything we have been talking about successfully into practice.
"The boys have been playing well, we have developed a strong focus and belief in the process rather than just concentrating on the result, on Sunday this will be no different.
"There have been times when this has been a challenge due to the direct nature of some or our opponents as well as the occasion, but the pleasing aspect has been that with a few gentle reminders, we have stuck to our process and associated team tasks and the success so far has been the by-product.
"I hope from the bottom of my heart that the boys will be able to show this again in Sunday’s decisive game against the physically strong home team.
"Qualifying for the FIFA U-17 World Cup would offer another priceless development opportunity for this generation," concluded Edwards.
In the other quarter-finals Iraq will face Kuwait, Korea Republic will meet Uzbekistan and Japan will take on Syria.
The match will be streamed live via the AFC U-16 Championship 2012 channel.
John Boultbee is set to relinquish his role as Football Federation Australia’s (FFA) Head of National Teams to take up a role as honorary head of World Rowing (FISA).