Giggs praises young team

It's been a pleasure to play with them, says Olympic skipper

Ryan Giggs: Disappointed but encouraged after Olympic exit

Ryan Giggs believes Great Britain's youngsters have exciting futures ahead of them despite exiting the 2012 Olympics against South Korea.

Team GB lost 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw against South Korea with Daniel Sturridge the unfortunate man to see his spot-kick saved at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

The defeat saw Stuart Pearce's side eliminated at the quarter-final stage but captain Giggs, who came on as a late substitute, believes it was a positive but disappointing campaign for the team.

"Of course, it's disappointing," he said.

"Ultimately we just weren't quite good enough.

"They were well organised, and made it hard for us to play our football. Overall though, it's been a fantastic experience, one the players and the staff have enjoyed.

Talented

"It was a pleasure to play with so many talented young players. Some I knew, some I didn't, but there's a lot of talent in that dressing room.

"Hopefully they can take it back to their clubs now and have good seasons. They deserve it, because their attitudes have been brilliant.

"It's been a pleasure to play with them, to be around them, and to train with them."

Giggs identified Swansea midfielder - and reported Liverpool target - Joe Allen as someone who can use this experience to help him kick on in his career.

"I think they're all talented players, and they can all step it up even more," he added.

"Hopefully this tournament can provide that stepping stone.

"Joe is someone I took a close interest in because he's Welsh. He's such a talented player, and the way Swansea played last season was great to see. He'll go on to have a good career."

Adamant

The Manchester United veteran is adamant Britain should field a football team in Rio 2016, despite coach Stuart Pearce suggesting the Olympic team is unlikely to have a future.

"I would want young players to experience what I experienced here at this Olympic tournament, and to play against good, organised teams," said Giggs.

"It can only be good for players' development and their experience. I've never experienced it before, and I'll cherish every moment of it.

"It's going to be hard, because there are a lot of sceptics out there, but within, you'll get the same answer from all the players."