Disgruntled Coleman expects "three or four" Welsh footballers to represent Team GB at Olympics

Wednesday, 16 May 2012
By David Gold

Chris Coleman_15_MayMay 16 - Wales football manager Chris Coleman has revealed that he has an idea which of his players will be selected in the Team GB squad by coach Stuart Pearce.

Coleman's Wales side could have, with the exception of England, the most players selected from the home nations.

Among the Welshmen in contention is Tottenham Hotspur's star wide man Gareth Bale (pictured below), arguably the best player available to Pearce, who will not select players competing for England at this summer's UEFA European Championship.

Wales captain Aaron Ramsey, the midfielder who plays for Arsenal, Liverpool striker Craig Bellamy and Chris Gunter, the Nottingham Forest defender, could also be called up.

Manchester United have also given the green light for legendary veteran winger Ryan Giggs (pictured bottom) to make what would be his first appearance in an international tournament as one of three players eligible over the age of 23.

Swansea midfielder Joe Allen and team-mate Neil Taylor, a defender/midfielder, who have integral for their team during their hugely impressive first season in the Premier League, have also been linked with Pearce's squad.

Gareth Bale_15_May
"Pearcey called me last week and told me who will possibly be involved," revealed Coleman (pictured top), who took over from Gary Speed after his tragic death last year.

"My words were, 'Are you expecting me to say thank you?'

"He'll possibly take three or four.

"He may take more, maybe less, but the bottom line is it is his decision and there is nothing we can do.

"Stuart Pearce will do what's best for him because he's in charge of Team GB and I will do the best for myself and Wales.

"We'll take the emotion out of it and get on with our jobs."

Although he has sympathy with his players wanting to compete, Coleman does not like the fact that a British team will compete at the Olympics.

Wales Football Association, like its English, Scottish and Northern Irish counterparts, is opposed to its players competing in the first united Team GB since qualifying for Munich 1972."My stance over the Olympics and Team GB has never changed," he said.

"I understand the players wanting to play in the competition, it's an honour and I can see why they would want to win a gold medal.

"But I do not like it, it does not help us and it does not help the clubs.

"When the next Olympics come around will we have a football team?

"Did we have one in the last Olympics?

"I do not even know who won [Argentina] at the last Olympics."

Ryan Giggs_15_May
Coleman continued: "It's in this country – England – and they're going to cherry-pick the best players or as many of our players they can get their hands on.

"To me as a footballer, the competitions that matter are the European Championship and the World Cup.

"The Olympics is a massive thing, of course it is, but I never said for one minute that I like the situation."

Coleman's Wales play a friendly against Bosnia-Herzegovina in Cardiff on August 15, just days after the final of the Olympic football tournament on August 11.

It will be their final friendly before the FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifiers begin this autumn.

Contact the writer of this story at david.gold@insidethegames.biz


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