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Defender Jason Geria backs Olyroos to win Olympic qualification

National duty: Victory will  miss defender Jason Geria.
Olyroos defender Jason Geria has no regrets chasing his Olympic dream, but still has one eye on Melbourne Victory back home. Photo: Getty Images

Olyroos defender Jason Geria has no regrets about chasing his Olympic dream, but he's still keeping an eye on how Melbourne Victory are faring while he's away on national duty.

Geria was confident the Olyroos were good enough to win the AFC under-23 championships in Qatar, let alone finish in the top three - which they need to do to qualify for this year's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Their campaign started with a 1-0 loss against the UAE on Friday, in which Geria was an unused substitute, and next they face Vietnam in Doha on Monday morning (AEDT).

Geria is one of five Victory players in the Olyroos squad, leaving the reigning A-League champions severely depleted - especially with captain and fellow Canberran Carl Valeri sidelined by brain inflammation, which affected his balance.

The Victory have been struggling, with just one win and two draws in their last seven games leaving them in fifth spot going into Friday night's clash with the Brisbane Roar.

But Geria had no regrets he was away with the Olyroos for two weeks trying to help Australia qualify for Rio.

"The bigger picture of what we're trying to do here, if we do qualify it's all going to be worth it, and also you'd never turn down the opportunity to play for your country," he said.

"It's a privilege being here. Every time I've been called up I'm elated to come, even though I would like to be in Melbourne playing for the Victory, I love playing for my country.

"Of course we keep tabs with what's going on ... we watched the game last week [3-all draw with Western Sydney Wanderers], hearts were racing and hearts in mouths, such a crazy game.

"We can keep an eye on them there, but we know what we have to do here."

Geria said the Olympics were massive because it was such a rare opportunity for a soccer player.

Not only did your country have to be one of 16 teams to qualify, but you also had to be one of your country's best under-23 players as well.

The Olyroos need to finish in the top two spots in their group to qualify for the knockout stages of the AFC under-23 championships.

Then they need to finish top three for the tournament. Geria was confident they could.

"The worst we can do [to qualify] is come third, but we want to win the whole thing," Geria said.

"That's what our objective is going to be ... I think we can.

"We've been together now for close to two years, some of us longer as we were in the 20s campaign in Turkey so everyone knows each other pretty well."

Geria said there had been a big improvement in Valeri's condition, with the Victory captain having not played since November 28.

He'll speak to a neurologist on Monday about this week's scans, which will hopefully lead to a diagnosis about what was wrong and when he will return.

Geria said Valeri was a big influence that the rest of the team "feed off", but he was confident Melbourne could cover for him in his absence.

"It was just a surprise, it came out of nowhere, we were taken aback," he said.

"We've played without Carl before and there's boys that can come in and do the job ... although he is a big influence on the team.

"He's a good character and we feed off what he brings to the game."

Monday: Vietnam v Australia at Doha, 12.30am; Thursday: Jordan v Australia at Doha, 3.30am.