Great Britain coach Stuart Pearce has backed David Beckham's decision to remain in Major League Soccer as a boost to the midfielder's Olympic hopes.
After doing so much to help the triumphant London bid in the first place, it is widely anticipated Beckham will be part of Pearce's 18-man squad for the event this summer.
Although it is not thought the Olympics played that much part in Beckham's decision, Pearce confirmed that by staying in the United States, where their season runs throughout the summer, the 36-year-old has maximised his chances of selection, telling Sky Sports News: "The fact David Beckham will be mid-season and the fitness involved with being match-fit at the time will be helpful."
However, Pearce was at pains to point out no-one is guaranteed selection.
Indeed, the issue of the three 'overage' players in his squad will not be assessed until he has decided who the other 15 will be.
"The best way forward is to concentrate on younger players," he said. "Then you can look at where you are weak and supplement them."
In fact, the whole selection process will be strange for Pearce as, with only 18 players to pick, he intends to "pick a team and work back from there".
Other than the 23 players selected in Fabio Capello's England squad for Euro 2012 and the seven, nameless, players, who have said they do not wish to be considered, Pearce has a free choice to pick whom he wishes.
"I know I'm going to lose 23 players with regard to England's squad in the summer but over and above that it's reasonably fair game.
"We're going to have to review things as we go. The politics and expectations from the BOA are something I'll have to get in sync with."