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Milligan puts Australia ahead of Arsenal

Australia under-23 captain Mark Milligan has insisted representing his country at the Olympic Games this summer takes priority over his club career.

Milligan is in Malaysia preparing for the Intercontinental Cup, where the Olyroos will face Ghana, Croatia and Chile in the pre-Olympic tournament.

The Sydney FC defender was initially banned from the tournament by Football Federation Australia after failing to give due notice of his late arrival at a training camp in Townsville last month.

However, the 22-year-old has held talks with the Olyroos boss Graham Arnold and senior coach Pim Verbeek, which have seen the ban reduced to two matches from the original five.

Milligan reportedly missed the Townsville camp to undergo trials with Premier League giants Arsenal.

"Both sides got everything off their chest and that (the ban) was the final decision, so I just have to get on with that and work hard in Malaysia over the first two games, so I'm ready to play in the third," he said.

"Country is very important to me, it's always been the case. The Olympics has been on my agenda for a long time and it's very important to me to be involved. In the lead-up definitely country, until the Olympics it is my number one goal.

"I decided to come home and sort this out, which I think shows my commitment to the Olympic side and Olympic cause."

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Tribal Football Staff

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