Pearce salutes Giggs
Team GB coach looking forward to Games campaign
Last Updated: July 16, 2012 9:08pm
Stuart Pearce & Ryan Giggs: Going for gold at the 2012 Olympics
Stuart Pearce has hailed the impact already being made on the Team GB squad by veteran midfielder and team captain Ryan Giggs.
Pearce has taken his 18-man squad to Spain for a pre-tournament training camp, with friendlies against Mexico and Brazil to come before the competitive action gets underway on 26th July.
And ahead of British football's first participation in the Olympics since 1960, manager Pearce has been quick to pay tribute to Welshman Giggs, competing in his first international tournament.
"He has all the credentials and he's been absolutely fantastic," he said.
"We've been out in Spain for five or six days, he has the full respect of his team-mates and his form last season was very good for Manchester United.
"We've had him as part of all our coaching meetings and we've been getting great feedback from him on the players.
"To know how the players are feeling is very important."
Giggs is one of the over-age players selected for the Games alongside Craig Bellamy and Micah Richards, a surprise choice in some quarters.
Pearce admits to being slightly irked that the Manchester City defender cannot be selected as an underage player after only turning 24 in June.
Nevertheless, Pearce believes Richards will be a key figure in their campaign and plans to use him in the heart of defence rather than in a full-back role he usually occupies under Roberto Mancini.
"It's a shame with Micah Richards that he's an over-age pick," added Pearce.
"He misses out on being an underage player by a few months. I see him playing at centre-back than at full-back to be honest."
Pearce has said his squad are 'really excited' about the Olympics and thinks their friendly with Brazil on 20th July at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium will give an indication of how far they have progressed.
"Brazil are one of favourites to win gold, their overage players are quality and their young players are quality too," he said.