THE Olympic Games is the biggest show on earth and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a footballer.
Jets wingback Connor O'Toole was a part of the Olyroos' squad which qualified for Tokyo and is desperate to be among the 18 players selected for the tournament.
O'Toole, who has been the backup left back behind Denmark-based Alex Gersbach, has been involved in every training camp. The next - and by far most important - training camp is scheduled for June.
For now, O'Toole's priority is the A-League and helping get the Jets out of a rut.
"The Olyroos is in the back of my mind at the moment," O'Toole said. "My focus is on getting us out of this losing streak. That is more important that what is ahead."
It has been nearly 16 months since the Olyroos finished third at the Asian Championships to book their ticket for Tokyo.
Coach Graham Arnold has said that Olympic hopefuls need to be playing regularly for their clubs to be in contention for the final squad.
O'Toole heeded those words and has become an ever present on the left since joining the Jets from Brisbane Roar.
He made his 50th A-League appearance - and 19th straight for the Jets - in the 2-1 defeat to 10-man Perth last round.
"A lot young players around the league are doing that now," O'Toole said of stringing games together. "Every game is an opportunity [to impress Arnold], but first and foremost is the Jets.
"Since I have arrived in Newcastle, I have started enjoying my football a lot more.
"In Brisbane, it got a bit stale. I wasn't not enjoying it, but it felt like I needed a change.
"Once I got to Newy, it was a fresh start. I wanted to play and started to train hard to get a spot."
Next for O'Toole - and the Jets - are Western United at McDonald Jones Stadium on Monday.
"We need to be desperate," O'Toole said when asked how the Jets end their slump of five straight defeats. "We went through something similar at the start of the season. It was a gritty performance against Wellington [in round five] that got us out of it.
"That is what we need. Perth came out and were desperate to get three points. That is what we need to do against Western United. Even when Perth went down to 10 men, they were desperate and were blocking shots and running everywhere. Diego Castro followed me across the park. If he is able to do, I think we definitely should be able to."
It is the Jets' first encounter this season with the Victorians, who came from a goal down to beat Melbourne City 2-1 on Wednesday night.
The win moved Western United to seventh place on 17 points, six ahead of the Jets, but they have played two fewer games.
Besart Berisha scored the winner for Western against City, while Alessandro Diamanti was instrumental off the bench.
"They obviously have quality up top in Berisha and Diamanti," O'Toole said. "They have pace with Dylan Pierias. There are lots of things we have to look out for."
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