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London 2012 Olympics: Pearce hopes Team GB can start legacy

Stuart Pearce hopes Great Britain's football team forge a legacy as they prepare to face Senegal in their group opener

The Sport Review
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Ryan Giggs will captain Team GB's football teamPhoto: jmage, via Flickr

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Stuart Pearce has reiterated his desire to see Team GB compete at future Olympic football tournaments as the hosts prepare for their opening group game against Senegal.

The former England international was appointed as GB head coach in October 2011, with Pearce set to oversee the first British squad to compete at the Olympic Games since 1960.

The 50-year-old has called up Wales striker Craig Bellamy, Manchester Unitied legend Ryan Giggs and Manchester City defender Micah Richards as the three over-age players in his 18-man squad – controversially omitting David Beckham.

Team GB kick off their London 2012 campaign against Senegal at Old Trafford on Thursday, before facing the United Arab Emirates at Wembley and finishing the group stage with a tie against Uruguay at the Millennium Stadium.

“We’ve got a fantastic opportunity to sow a seed and say ‘can this happen more often?’ and say to the public this is a valid tournament,” Pearce said.

“It always boils down to me as a coach that the players go back to their clubs having had a fantastic experience and [having] been very proud to represent Great Britain.

“All the lads have embraced it, we were fortunate to go to the village last week, you want to enjoy the Olympic experience but the bottom line is you want to win football matches.”

Team GB squad: J Allen (Swansea), C Bellamy (Liverpool), R Bertrand (Chelsea), J Butland (Birmingham), S Caulker (Tottenham), T Cleverley (Manchester United), J Cork (Southampton), C Dawson (West Brom), R Giggs (Manchester United), A Ramsey (Arsenal), M Richards (Manchester City), D Rose (Tottenham), S Sinclair (Swansea), M Sordell (Bolton), J Steele (Middlesbrough), D Sturridge (Chelsea), N Taylor (Swansea), J Tomkins (West Ham)

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