Pearce and Powell take charge
Duo chosen to lead Britain's football teams in the 2012 Olympics
By Murray Burnell. Last Updated: 20/10/11 4:24pm
Stuart Pearce and Hope Powell will manage the British football teams for the Olympic Games in London next year.
Pearce, the current England Under-21 boss, and Powell, who led the England women's team to the quarter-finals of the 2011 World Cup, will each put together an 18-player squad.
The rules indicate that there must be no more than three players over the age of 23 named in the squads and they can select players from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Pearce has also been involved with Fabio Capello's senior England set-up in recent years and feels he has been given a unique chance.
He explained: "I am extremely proud to have this opportunity and I'm very much looking forward to getting started.
"I was fortunate to be part of Euro 96, so I know how special it can be to play for your country on home soil at a major tournament."
Stuart Pearce Quotes of the week
"I was fortunate to be part of Euro 96, so I know how special it can be to play for your country on home soil at a major tournament.
"I'm sure this group of players will relish being part of not only a huge tournament in this country, but a unique one competing together and representing the UK."
David Beckham has already expressed his desire to play for Britain in the Olympics and may be on Pearce's radar.
But the former Nottingham Forest captain believes every player who is eligible to play should be aiming for selection.
He said: "Take the role model of, for example Lionel Messi, who went to court to fight his club to get released to go to the Olympics.
"With the announcement, it sparks it off and certainly puts it into the players' minds that there is less than a year to go until kick-off so I think it will be very exciting.
"If I was a player, I'd certainly be looking at this tournament and doing everything I could to be up for selection."
By the time the Olympics begin in July 2012, Powell will have been in charge of England women's side for 14 years.
She said: "The attendances at the games during Euro 2005 were a sign of progress for Women's football in this country, and it helped provide a platform for what has happened since then.
"From those finals where the players were playing against the best teams in Europe and in front of huge crowds, there was a real surge of enthusiasm. I think with the exposure and interest in the Olympics in this country we could see a similar impact from the tournament next summer.
"I'm delighted to be in the position to be able to take a team into such an illustrious tournament, I just wish it was starting tomorrow."