Topor-Stanley back in action
Perth Glory's Nikolai Topor-Stanley said the Olympic experience was an amazing one that unfortunately ended too soon for the Australian team.
Olyroos defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley said the Olympic experience was an amazing one that unfortunately ended too soon for the Australian team.
But the Glory centre-back said he's more than ready to immediately return to the fray in the Hyundai A-League, ignoring his Olympic disappointment as he turns his attention to shoring up Perth's injury-hit defence for Friday night's clash with the Newcastle Jets.
The Olyroos had the odds stacked against them from the beginning, selected in the 'Group of Death' against football heavyweights like Argentina, Serbia and the Ivory Coast.
They may have managed a 1-1 draw with Serbia in the opening game, but despite strong showings against Argentina and Ivory Coast - sides featuring stars such as Lionel Messi and Soloman Kalou respectively - they lost 1-0 in those matches and bowed out of the Beijing Olympics in the group stage.
But speaking after his first training session for the Glory since returning home, Topor-Stanley said he'd had a chance to reflect on his Olympics campaign.
"It (the Olympic experience) was an amazing one but it just didn't last as long as we wanted to," Topor-Stanley said.
"We had big hopes and aspirations to at least make the quarter-finals and maybe the medal round but it wasn't to be, so (we're) back here."
"It was always going to be tough and we were always up against it but we thought we were in with a shout. We just couldn't pull the good goals and we played well in two of the games anyway and just couldn't get over the line."
Having bowed out of the Olympic competition, Glory coach Dave Mitchell immediately asked for his Olympic players Topor-Stanley, Nikita Rukavytsya and Tando Velaphi to fly directly to Adelaide from Beijing to be part of the squad that took on Adelaide United in the Hyundai A-League's opening round.
Mitchell said the best way of getting over the disappointment was to get their Perth Glory hats on as quickly as possible - and the former Socceroos striker was true to his word, bringing on Topor-Stanley and Rukavytsya at half-time in the club's 1-0 loss to the Reds.
Topor-Stanley said he would have preferred to have had more time but had a responsibility to his club to play if needed.
"Personally I wanted a week off just to have some time to myself," said Topor-Stanley. "And, I just wanted a week away from football, but Mitch needed me and I answered his call."
"I mean, I'm contracted to the Perth Glory, so if he needed me I was always going to be on the plane."
And, despite the first-up loss, Topor-Stanley believes the under-rated Glory will still surprise in the fourth installment of the Hyundai A-League.
"I guess it was the first game and we were expected to lose but we've got the whole rest of the season to look forward to and more points to get," he said.