Cricket great to mentor Aussie athletes in Beijing

Updated: 04 August 2008 16:13 IST

Steve Waugh says he is looking forward to mentoring Australia's under-23 football team and other sports at next month's Beijing Olympics, reports said.

Sydney:

Former Australian cricket captain Steve Waugh says he is looking forward to mentoring Australia's under-23 football team and other sports at next month's Beijing Olympics, reports said on Friday.

Waugh, who is one of three athlete liaison staff working with the Australian athletes in Beijing, believes he can offer the Olyroos some inside knowledge when it comes to dealing with pressure on the international stage.

Waugh, 43, one of cricket's greats playing 168 Tests, 57 of those as captain over almost five years, will move among the various Australian teams and athletes in China in a mentoring capacity.

Australia face a daunting task at the Olympics, with their football group containing reigning champions Argentina, Ivory Coast and Serbia.

"My role is to observe, listen and talk to the guys when it needs to be done, and probably in my experience in sport in playing 20 years for Australia I've seen plenty of ups and downs." Waugh told The Sydney Morning Herald.

"I'd like to think I can offer the boys a few shortcuts.

"This is the first time I've met some of the guys and while the support staff are their first point of call, I'll be around to offer something positive and if they need someone to talk to.

"Even though I'm not participating, you could say it's my first Olympics. I went to the Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games in 1998 and that gave me a fair idea of camaraderie and spirit that exists in these teams."

Athlete liaisons for other Australian sports in Beijing include former Wallabies rugby captain John Eales and swimming champion Susie O'Neill.

Waugh and his twin brother and Test cricket great Mark showed great aptitude for football as juniors, playing for the Australian Schoolboys before cricketing demands took over.

Topics : Athletics Sreesanth
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