Olympic dream still alive

They might have missed the cut this time but the Olympic dream is far from over for Gold Coast trio Ben Halloran, James Brown and Dylan McGowan.

They might have missed the cut this time but the Olympic dream is far from over for Gold Coast trio Ben Halloran, James Brown and Dylan McGowan.

That's according to their coach, Miron Bleiberg, who believes they have even more reason to perform now in the Hyundai A-League after their surprising omission from Aurelio Vidmar's latest Qantas Australian U-23s squad.

The Australia under-23s coach didn't name a single player from bottom-placed Gold Coast in his team for their upcoming qualifiers against Uzbekistan and the United Arab Emirates.

Brown started in all three of the Qantas Australian U-23s' previous games in the third round of matches ahead of the London Olympics later this year, but was overlooked when Vidmar named his squad on Wednesday.

Halloran, 19, was tipped as a bolter after a red-hot run of form in the A-League but was instead picked as a back-up player, while defender McGowan, 20, has recently lost his place in United's starting XI.

With Gold Coast already down to bare bones due to a number of injury concerns, Bleiberg said he was personally thankful to not have lost any more of his players to international duty.

"If they would have gone, it would have cost us even more in terms of depth," he admitted ahead of Friday night's clash with Central Coast at Skilled Park.

"It's not that I wish it on them not to go ... If they perform well in the A-League they will find themselves going to London anyway, if the team is successful."

"If they are performing better in the A-League than the other guys who will be going on the tour now, they will put their hands up for selection."

"That's how they should think and that's how they should be encouraged. Whoever will go to London will be those who are in top form before the Olympics."

"That's how it happens in athletics, in every sport. That logic prevails. 'Viddie' will think the same."

Halloran and Brown are expected to start up front for Gold Coast, alongside Maceo Rigters, who will return after an ankle complaint kept him out of their 2-1 loss in Sydney on Sunday.

The Dutchman admitted he wasn't 100 per cent fit but Bleiberg has few other options to turn to, with strikers Joel Porter (calf), Dylan Macallister (hamstring), Chris Broadfoot (ankle) and Tahj Minniecon (heel) all injured.

It's been a difficult week for Gold Coast, who only held their first field training session on Thursday with heavy rain throughout the last few days restricting them to indoor work at Carrara.

"It's good, it's very humid but it's nice to be outside. Obviously it has affected our preparation, but from the other side it makes the players more hungry today. They'll get something out of it," Bleiberg said.

The United coach also rejected reports that Friday night's match was under threat, with Skilled Park stadium manager David Lloyd confirming that the pitch itself is fully drained and in tip-top shape.

"What they're concerned about is the line markings being wiped away by the rain," Bleiberg said.

"That's up to the referee to decide. I was assured the pitch was OK."