Giggs hoping Team GB will continue after Olympics

The veteran says the experience of participating in the world's biggest sporting event is one he couldn't turn down, and hopes the football team continues after the tournament

Captain Ryan Giggs is hoping that Team GB will not be disbanded after the Olympic Games.

Controversy surrounded the squad, with Scotland and Ireland withdrawing from selection and Wales citing concerns over the player's future independent status within FIFA, it has been suggested the 2012 Games team will be a "one off".

The veteran midfielder, who will be leading the first Team GB to have competed in men's Olympic football since 1960, says that there is no reason that the side shouldn't appear beyond the London Games.

"I hope it is not a one off, based on what I have experienced and how much I have enjoyed it this week," Giggs told reporters. "I hope in future Olympics there will be more Great Britain teams. Both Craig [Bellamy] and I are Welsh and proud of it, but for me it was a chance I could not turn down, of playing in the biggest sporting event in the world.

"I have had nothing but positive feedback from the people I know, wanting me to do well. The different FAs may have opposed it, but people who I have met face to face have been nothing but positive.

"I am not a politician, but from what I have experienced, I just hope fellow British footballers can experience what I have."

Craig Bellamy, who was also one of the three over-age picks, has also spoken of his delight to be part of the squad and hopes the team can enjoy the occasion.

Bellamy added: "It has been immense. The week away could not have gone any better, all the boys have really got on. I never thought this was going to happen, for me to be involved in anything like this. I am just want to embrace this and enjoy every moment."

And Team GB head coach, Stuart Pearce, insisted that preparations ahead of the opening friendly against Brazil in Middlesbrough are progressing well, with the tournament opener against Senegal at Old Trafford on the July 26.

"As a group we have gelled fantastically well, I am really pleased with the way they have come together, which has been quicker than I thought," said Pearce.

"The venue in Spain was ideal and we are delighted with the week we had. I set teams up to try to win the tournament with the best players I have available."

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