The Manchester City defender, Micah Richards, one of the three overage players in Stuart Pearce's 18-man Olympics squad, said he had no regrets on missing England's Euro 2012 campaign and cannot wait to represent Britain at the Games.
The 24-year-old would have almost certainly been called up to Roy Hodgson's squad, when injuries struck, had he not chosen to go on holiday instead of remaining on the standby list.
However, Richards said he was content to enjoy his off-season in preparation for the Olympics. "I've just been relaxing this summer," Richards said yesterday. "It was nice to get a break away and relax for a couple of weeks or, in fact, a lot longer than that."
Asked if he had any regrets about not playing at the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine where England reached the quarter-finals, he said: "It wasn't my decision. I didn't get picked in the team and once I wasn't picked in the squad this chance with GB came around and I wanted to go to the Games.
"It is always an honour to represent your country. It's not just England, it's GB, so it is something new. When Stuart Pearce rang me and asked if I wanted to be involved, I jumped at the chance. It might not ever happen again so it is going to be a fantastic experience and I am really looking forward to it."
Richards comes into the tournament fresh from helping Manchester City to a first League title in 44 years, sealed with Sergio Aguero's last-gasp goal in the season's final game against Queen's Park Rangers. "It ended the hard way," he said. "Being a City man, I know it always seems to happen like that. I think we deserved to win it in the end."
Now Richards is hoping he can cap a superb few months with an Olympic medal. "We'll have to wait and see [whether we can get a gold]," he said. "We're confident and I think we've got a good squad. We're looking forward to it and will give 100 per cent."Reuse content