Team GB Football Manager Stuart Pearce has announced his squad for the London Olympics and, as expected, there are no representatives from Scotland or Northern Ireland. The Welsh, Northern Irish and Scottish FA’s have been quite vocal in their opposition to providing players to a British team since the Games were awarded to London, although the Welsh are represented by five players in 18-man squad. There is also no place for David Beckham who has been acting as an ambassador for British sport in recent times. Under competition rules, only three players over the age of 23 are permitted and those places have been taken by Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards.
Swansea, who created such a favourable impression in their debut season in the Premier League, are the best represented with three players taking part; Scott Sinclair, Joe Allen and Neil Taylor. Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge is one of the most high profile players in the squad having been overlooked for England’s Euro 2012 squad. He is joined by teammate Ryan Bertrand who made such a good contribution to Chelsea’s Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich. Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey and Manchester United’s Tom Cleverley are included but Tottenham’s Gareth Bale misses out due to injury.
Pearce admitted that it had not been easy to select his squad but is relishing the prospect of competing for Gold on home soil. London 2012 will be the first time that Team GB have competed in the men’s football competition since the Rome Olympics in 1960 when finishing third in their group. Team GB play their opening group match at Old Trafford against Senegal on 26th July, followed by the United Arab Emirates at Wembley on 29th July and Uruguay at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium on 1st August.
Great Britain are rated 7-1 to win the men’s Olympic football tournament by Ladbrokes. Brazil are the hot favourites at 7-4 ahead of Spain at 11-5. The Spanish could even challenge for favouritism on the back of their senior side winning the Euro 2012 tournament in Poland and the Ukraine. The teams representing Uruguay and Switzerland are well respected and are priced at 8-1 with Mexico at 14-1 and 25-1 bar these.
Team GB: Jack Butland (Birmingham), Jason Steele (Middlesbrough); Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea), Steven Caulker (Tottenham), Craig Dawson (West Brom), Micah Richards (Manchester City), Neil Taylor (Swansea), James Tomkins (West Ham); Joe Allen (Swansea), Tom Cleverley (Manchester United), Jack Cork (Southampton), Ryan Giggs (Manchester United), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Scott Sinclair (Swansea); Craig Bellamy (Liverpool), Marvin Sordell (Bolton), Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea).
Author Profile: Harvey Mayson+