The A-League's expected focus on youth is driving Brisbane prospect Rahmat Akbari to realise his potential and force his way into Australia's Olympic squad.
Akbari made just the fifth start of his A-League career in the Roar's season opener against Melbourne City in Redcliffe on Tuesday.
In his fourth season as a senior professional, the Afghanistan-born, 20-year-old midfielder has made just 21 appearances but is revelling in the faith shown in him by Roar coach Warren Moon.
After impressing in a central midfield trio with Irishman Jay O'Shea and fellow youngster Riku Danzaki in the 1-0 loss to City, Akbari is aiming high with his ambition for 2021.
An Australian under-17 representative, Akbari is yet to feature for the Olyroos but admits the lure of earning a spot on the plane to Tokyo is driving him forward.
"That's my goal right now. Just to play as much as I can and just show myself to (Olyroos coach) Graham Arnold," he told AAP.
"Hopefully I can get into the Olympic squad.
"It's really, really important for me this season. It's my fourth season and I've just been playing a few games here and few games there.
"This season is my year. Just try my best to keep starting every single game."
Akbari is set to start against Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park after Moon named an unchanged Roar squad for Saturday's clash.
A nine-game season on loan at Victory in 2018-19 remains the most appearances Akbari has made in his short career and a return to Melbourne will bring back some fond memories.
"I've got a few friends there ... I loved being at Victory, it's a great club," he said.
"But with the Roar, my home's here. This is where my heart is right now and hopefully I can play here as long as I can."