Former Manchester City and current England under 21 manager Stuart Pearce has been named as manager of Britain’s football team for next year’s London Olympics.
Pearce will selected the 18 man squad which can must have at least 15 players under the age of 23, one of whom is likely to be David Beckham as the former Manchester United and Real Madrid player has expressed his desire to be a part of the team on several occasions.
The side can contain players from England as well as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland but associations of the Home Nations have been reluctant to support the idea of a British team for fear it will put their separate status under question in the future.
In June the associations released a collective statement saying they would reject any approach to form a British team for London 2012.
“The Football Associations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland reiterate our collective opposition to Team GB participation at the 2012 Olympic Games in London,” the statement said.
“We have been consistently clear in explaining the reason for our stance, principally to protect the identity of each national association. With that in mind, we cannot support nor formally endorse the approach that has been proposed by the Football Association.”
Pearce though believes that young players should seize the opportunity to perform on such a big stage.
“I’m sure this group of players will relish being part of not only a huge tournament in this country,” he said, “but a unique one competing together and representing the UK.”
Britain last competed in football at the 1960 Rome games before the move from amateur to professional status.