The stage is set

Australian football fans are in for a treat in January 2015 and there is good reason to be excited after the Asian Cup draw.

Australian football fans are in for a treat in January 2015 and there is good reason to be excited after the Asian Cup draw grouped us with Korea Republic, Kuwait and Oman with matches in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.

Three big games in three big cities; it certainly gets the competitive juices flowing!

It-s a challenging draw but we-ll go into the tournament looking to ride on the emotion of fanatical home crowds, on home soil and in familiar stadiums with the clear intention of creating some special moments in our rich football history,

The Socceroos are faced with an amazing opportunity to play a major Continental tournament in our own backyard and the fans also have the chance to watch the Socceroos fight for glory on Australian soil.

All three matches in the group stage will generate a significant level of interest as we take on the best teams in Asia for the right to be crowned 2015 Asian Cup Champions.

We kick off the tournament against Kuwait in Melbourne and there is no doubt that this match is critical to our success in the 2015 Asian Cup. The first game in any tournament is always important and we will go into the game as the host nation with a level of pride as we are greeted by a sea of green and gold.

The opening match of a major tournament is always an occasion and this is no different. It will be a special night.

The second match sees us take on Oman and it-s a tremendous reflection of Australia-s growing presence and history in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) that we rekindle a rivalry that has been born out of previous World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers.

Oman and Australia have tussled many times over recent years, most notably during the final stage of qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup when they were more than worthy opponents and Sydney will host the latest chapter in the growing rivalry with Oman.

Last up in the group stage is the glamour match up everyone was after when we take on fellow 2014 FIFA World Cup nation Korea Republic. There is no doubt this is a tough match up in the group stages but we will look forward to the game with excitement.

Football players live for the big games and this is certainly one of the biggest we have seen on Australian soil.

Korea Republic is one of the powerhouses of the AFC and there-s no doubt Suncorp Stadium will be packed to the rafters for the clash. I-ve got some good memories of packed houses at Suncorp Stadium and it is looming as a marquee match for the army of Socceroo fans.

The stage is set for a wonderful tournament and we look forward to continuing our journey in front of the very people we represent – you, the fans.