Stuart Pearce named football coach for 2012 Olympics

Stuart Pearce insisted he has complete control who he selects for the Great Britain Olympic football team at London 2012 after being appointed today as the head coach.

Pearce, the former England captain and current boss of the Under-21s, was unveiled at a Wembley press conference along with Hope Powell, who was installed as head coach of the GB women's team.

Pearce insisted he wants his team, if possible, to be made up of players from all the home nations even though the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish football associations are all officially opposed to a Great Britain team as a concept, fearing it could jeopardise their independence with FIFA.

Welsh players, Tottenham's Gareth Bale and Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey, however, have already stated they want to play in the Games.

Pearce said: "I'm not going into this job looking only to select English players. It should be made up if at all possible of all the home nations.

"They should come forward and put their players up for selection. A lot of it will depend on the players mentality. If the players want to be part of it then that would be fantastic. I think they will.

"I think they will be very, very excited to be part of this showcase of football. Dialogue will come into it between myself and the federations and the managers concerned and I think support will be galvanised as the months go by and the tournament nears kick-off."

On whether 36-year-old David Beckham might be included as one of the three over-age players allowed in the 18-man squad of Under-23 players, Pearce would not be drawn.

"I've no idea as yet," Pearce said.

"I've not seen him play recently. He's a bit too old for the Under-21s.

"Everyone will be up for selection. Form and fitness will determine who I pick. The FA have said to me the decision is totally yours, you pick who you deem right and proper to be part of this spectacle."

To highlight what the Games mean to players Pearce cited the example of Argentina's Lionel Messi, who took his club Barcelona to court to guarantee his release for selection at the 2008 Games.

Pearce said: "To have the opportunity to galvanise our national game on such a massive stage as the Olympics is a massive honour.

"Take the role models that have gone before, such as Lionel Messi, who actually went to court to fight his club to get released to go to a major tournament such as the Olympics.

"With the announcement of myself and Hope as managers it really sparks it off and puts it in the players' eyes less than a year to kick-off. It is exciting. If I was a player I would be certainly doing everything I could to be put up for selection.

"I was privileged to be around for Euro 96 and the excitement created around this stadium and if we get on a roll the excitement could generate something special."

The English FA initially said no-one taking part in Euro 2012 would be available for selection but insist now this is not a hard and fast rule which could mean players such as Wayne Rooney, banned from the first three matches at Euro 2012, might yet be available for Olympic selection.

The last time Team GB was represented in the men's Olympic football competition was the 1960 Games in Rome when they beat Taiwan, drew with Italy and lost to Brazil and failed to advance to the medal round.

Team GB has never competed in a women's Olympic competition and Powell, head coach of England women since 1998, said: "The fact that we are on home soil with the opportunity to play at Wembley for women's football is a fantastic honour.

"It will really help us to raise the profile of women's football."

PA

Suggested Topics
News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star