It’s one thing for Britain to thrash Australia in the medals table... now it’s clear London 2012 was bigger and slicker than Sydney... it’s gold for London.”
Strewth. When a national newspaper columnist in his native country is writing that, it’s no wonder Aston Villa’s athletic Aussie Brett Holman is keen to redress the balance.
Holman will be in London 2012 territory when Villa visit the East End to face West Ham on Saturday and he is determined to put in an Olympic effort on his Premier League debut.
The 28-year-old midfielder admits it has been tough to take GB’s dominance as an Antipodean newly exiled in a country rightly patting itself on the back for a games that has put the Great back in Britain.
Especially, when his compatriots are feeling down Down Under for coming a lowly 10th in the medals table.
“You try to find all the Australian bits and pieces on TV, but you could only get all the Great Britain stuff!” admits Holman with a rueful smile.
“It’s a little bit frustrating, but it’s great for GB and what they’ve done. I think it’s something that will go down in history from what I’ve heard, so to do that in your own country is a massive achievement.”
Holman relished taking part in the Athens Olympics in 2004 as the Australian squad made it to the quarter-final stage, only to lose 1-0 to Iraq.
He discovered just how special the Games can be and the Villa newcomer reckons footballers should take inspiration from the sports stars in track, field and other disciplines, who shone at this month’s games.
“If you see how much determination and motivation they have put in for four years then any sportsman can learn from that,” says Holman.
“I actually played in the Olympics in Athens and football I think is completely different because you’re working every day and you’ve got a competition every week and every year.
“So it’s hard to compare that to the other Olympic sports and events where everything is focused on those four years for the athletes.”
One such athlete, long-jump silver medalist Mitch Watt, is planning on staying in the UK a little while longer to see Holman in action for Villa.
Watt finished runner up to GB’s Olympic champion Greg Rutherford, who interestingly is a former football hopeful who once had a trial at Bodymoor Heath.
“I heard that Mitch Watt might be coming along – that will be good,” said Holman.
“I did see the long jump and I think it was the redhead, I don’t know his name, from GB who won the gold medal and the Aussie ended up second. For him it was a great achievement.”
Holman hopes his own all-action approach will help him shine on the Premier League podium at his opening ceremony this weekend.
During pre-season the former AZ Alkmaar player has showcased the relentless running which has become his trademark, as well as scoring two goals.
“The non-stop, go-go-go sort of approach has been a positive thing for me,” adds Holman.
“I try to do that with short sharp bursts and sprinting and turning and that sort of stuff. Hopefully that can be a big part of my role in the Premier League.
“You have to work hard in pre-season and the main thing is to get your fitness virtually at the peak for the first game of the Premier League,” he added.
“So far so good, there’s been no injuries for me which has been positive and I feel really fit.”