Pearce to lead Team GB at 2012 Olympics

Pearce Under-21 England managerStuart Pearce has been named as the manager of the Great Britain team to compete in the 2012 Olympics, and has asked players to confirm their availability for the tournament.

The England under-21 boss was confirmed as the team’s coach on Thursday, and spoke of his pride at being able to commit to the role.

“I am extremely proud to have this opportunity and I’m very much looking forward to getting started,” he stated after the announcement.

“I was fortunate to be part of Euro 96, so I know how special it can be to play for your country on home soil at a major tournament.

“I’m sure this group of players will relish being part of not only a huge tournament in this country, but a unique one competing together and representing the UK,” he stated.

Pearce will be able to select players from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, with a 18 man squad set to compete. The squad will also comprise young, talented players, as only three participants over the age of 23 are allowed.

With a massive number of players eligible, Pearce has asked for interested parties to hold their hands up.

“Take the role model of, for example Lionel Messi, who went to court to fight his club to get released to go to the Olympics.

“With the announcement, it sparks it off and certainly puts it into the players’ minds that there is less than a year to go until kick-off so I think it will be very exciting.

“If I was a player, I’d certainly be looking at this tournament and doing everything I could to be up for selection,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, Hope Powell will manage the Women’s team after proving herself as boss of the England side.

By Gareth McKnight