Being down in the southern hemisphere, and being relatively isolated, I think we aussies get a skewed view of the world.
Non-football example: the illegal immigrant debate (our numbers pale in comparison to the # of people going into Europe or the US). The local papers made it sound so heavy, when it isn`t.
So then Olympic football comes along, we have no sense of where we fit into the big picture. Or what we should expect from our team.
Could our Olympic squad play better football than they have (with a different coach)? I think yes. Could they improve so much that they win a medal? No.
Should we be cheering for the team? Yes.
Re Olympic funding, I saw a similar sentiment over here in Japan recently. Someone on TV was saying that the Japanese media shouldn't obsess so much about high school baseball, but rather try to support other sports as well. Because right now not many young athletes are going into Olympic sports in Japan. But I feel like that is false advertising. Japan loves high school baseball. Highlighting other sports which japan doesn`t love to try to increase a medal count feels ... cynical.
So I think the money / support should follow the love. And right now, AFL is the top dog in oz. But, having said all that, here`s looking forward to a medium term future with 40,000 people having a great time at every Roar homegame. And every other A-League team pulling between 25,000 - 60,000 every week.
... And other countries talking about the amazing footballing culture we are developing. Our own. The same way people talk about Brazilian football, Italian football, Dutch, French, German, English ...