Pearce admits to difficult Team GB selection, but has confidence in squad

The former England U21 coach announced his selection on Monday and has defended his choices ahead of the competition in light of notable absentees such as David Beckham

Team GB coach Stuart Pearce has spoken of the difficulty he faced when choosing his 18-man Olympic Games squad, but remains adamant that his decisions will prove to be correct come the tournament.

The most high-profile omission was David Beckham, who revealed last Thursday that he had failed to make the final cut, with Ryan Giggs, Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards instead awarded the three allocated over-23 spots.

And Pearce has stressed that the “uniqueness” of the Games meant that he could not take the selection process lightly.

"It has not been an easy task to finalise my squad for this tournament, and the stature of the competition and uniqueness of the occasion has underlined the importance of every choice I have made,” Pearce told reporters.

"With just 18 places it is very different from other international tournaments, the options are limited, but it is the Olympic Games and every player in this squad should be very proud they have a chance to compete for a gold medal on home soil.

"I remember the huge advantage we gained from playing in front of our own fans during Euro 96, and I'm sure with the nation behind us it could be a fantastic tournament for us.”

The 2012 Olympics will be the first to include a Great Britain men’s football since the 1960 competition.

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And BOA chef de mission Andy Hunt echoed Pearce's views on the importance of taking part in the tournament, believing that the selected players will benefit from the experience.

He added: "After a 52-year absence from the Olympic Games, it is fantastic to welcome the men's football squad to Team GB for London 2012.

"Representing your country at the Olympic Games is a very unique, special experience and I am sure this talented and determined group of men's footballers will play a full part as members of Team GB at our home Olympic Games.

"The squad selected possesses a good blend of youth and experience, with 16 of the 18 selected athletes playing their football at the very highest level in the Premier League last season. 

"In Stuart Pearce they have an experienced and passionate manager and I am sure the younger players will learn a lot from their time with Team GB at the Olympic Games.”