Pearce poised to coach Olympic side

02 September 2011 05:30
Stuart Pearce is expected to be confirmed as Great Britain's 2012 Olympic coach this month. Although the Football Association would not comment on the speculation on Friday, it is understood they have decided Pearce is the right man for the job.He is certainly the most obvious candidate given he has coached the England U21 side since 2007, taking them to three European Championship torunament finals.This summer's disappointing performance in Denmark cast a cloud over Pearce's stewardship, but was subsequently awarded a new two-year contract, covering the Olympic period and his side have been the most consistent in Europe under his tenure.Even once Pearce's appointment is confirmed, uncertainty will remain over the exact make-up of the British team.The British Olympic Association are desperate to field an authentic side at the event and earlier this year released a statement, in conjunction with the FA, stating they had reached agreement with the other Home Unions to do exactly that.This was quickly rebutted by the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Irish Football Associations, who fear the dilution of the Home Unions' status within Fifa should they join forces with their English counterparts.Tthey have agreed to the participation of a squad made up of English players only, although accept they would be powerless to prevent any of their own players taking up an invitation should it be offered.The matter is further complicated by the pledge of FA director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking that any player involved in the 2012 European Championship will not be asked to be part of the Olympics as well.That was before the elevation of Manchester United players Tom Cleverley, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling to the senior squad. All three, along with other youngsters such as Jack Wilshere, would be automatic selections for Pearce.Pearce knows their absence from an U23 team which can also include three over-age players - former England captain David Beckham has already declared an interest - would have an adverse effect on Britain's chances of being able to field a competitive team.No decision has been made on who will coach the women's side, although Hope Powell has long been viewed as the leading candidate.