After a long wait and a whole load of speculation, Stuart Pearce finally named his Great Britain football team to take on the world at this year’s London Olympics. After it was revealed last week that David Beckham would not be playing at this summer’s games, Pearce showed that he had no room for sentimentality, and would pick his squad purely on ability (and availability of course).
The major blow to Team GB’s olympic squad is the unfortunate absence of the brilliant Gareth Bale, who would have gone to the games as one of the 15 Under 23 players in the squad. Bale was ruled out due to injury over the weekend, and will miss out on what could be a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Pearce’s squad is made up purely of English and Welsh players after Scotland reportedly withdrew their players from selection. The tournament will be a great chance to check out some of the young talent yet to break through to the main England squad, and many of the squad could be under consideration for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and beyond.
The full Team GB Football Squad is:
JACK BUTLAND (Birmingham)
JASON STEELE (Middlesbrough)
MICAH RICHARDS (Manchester City)
CRAIG DAWSON (West Brom)
JAMES TOMKINS (West Ham)
STEVEN CAULKER (Tottenham)
RYAN BERTRAND (Chelsea)
NEIL TAYLOR (Swansea)
RYAN GIGGS (Manchester United)
AARON RAMSEY (Arsenal)
TOM CLEVERLEY (Manchester United)
JACK CORK (Southampton
DANNY ROSE (Tottenham)
JOE ALLEN (Swansea)
SCOTT SINCLAIR (Swansea)
MARVIN SORDELL (Bolton)
CRAIG BELLAMY (Liverpool)
DANIEL STURRIDGE (Chelsea)
Great Britain’s team has the luxury of a great deal of experience in spite of the age restrictions on the squad. The likes of Micah Richards, Daniel Sturridge, Tom Cleverley, Aaron Ramsey and others within the GB ranks have experience of playing in the Premier League for large chunks of their fledgling careers. Players such as Sturridge and Cleverley will be extremely keen to show what they can do as they vie for a place in England’s senior team. The one player who did go to the Euros with England still to be included in the GB team is Jack Butland, who will most likely start between the sticks at the olympics.
GB will kick off their campaign with a friendly match against Brazil before playing their group fixtures against Senegal at Old Trafford, United Arab Emirates at Wembley and Uruguay at The Millenium Stadium. GB will be much fancied for finishing in the medal positions as they host the competition.