Olyroos to face New Zealand in Olympic qualifying warm-up

Graham Arnold (L) and Gary van Egmond Source: Getty Images

The Olyroos will warm-up for their Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifying tournament with two home friendlies against New Zealand in September.

Australia's Under-23s will face their Kiwi counterparts at WIN Stadium in Wollongong on September 6 and Campbelltown Stadium on September 9.

The matches will serve as crucial preparation for January's Asian Under-23 championships.

Australia have to finish in the top three of the event in Thailand to join host nation Japan at the 2020 Olympic tournament.

The Olyroos haven't played at an Olympics since the 2008 Beijing Games.

Coach Graham Arnold said the friendlies present a vital opportunity for the squad to gain experience together before the qualifying tournament, coach Graham Arnold said.

"It's important that we get them together regularly in the lead up to January so that they are as prepared as possible to achieve the target of earning a place at the Olympics," Arnold said.

New Zealand will use the matches as preparation for their own Olympic qualifying event - the 2019 Oceania Under-23 championships in Fiji later in September.

The winner of that tournament will be Oceania's sole representative at the 16-team men's event in Tokyo.

With Arnold committed to the Socceroos' FIFA World Cup qualifiers in September, Gary van Egmond will step in as Under-23s coach for the friendlies against New Zealand.

Arnold will resume control of the Olyroos for the Asian Under-23s championships in January.

"We are pleased with how this structure will work over the next six months," Arnold said.

"With Gary, who is an Olympian himself, working with the Young Socceroos as well as the Under-23s, and myself, Rene Meulensteen and Tony Vidmar focusing on the Socceroos but keeping a close eye on the 23s, the fluid communication and pathway between the squads will be maintained."

Source AAP