Pearce set to coach Britain''s Olympic footballers

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London, Jan 12 (AP) England under-21 coach Stuart Pearceis being lined up to manage Britain''s men''s football team atthe London 2012 Olympics, the head of the Football Associationsaid Tuesday.

English football''s governing body is administering theteam and is set to provide all the players. The Scottish,Welsh and Northern Irish associations won''t be part of theteam because of fears it would jeopardize their independenceand voting rights within FIFA.

FA general secretary Alex Horne wants the manager inplace by June to give him time to prepare for the Olympics,which start in July 2012.

Horne said it "would be very logical" for Pearce to getthe job since the FA are likely to "substitute out" Englandunder-21 friendlies in the run up to London 2012 with warmupmatches for the Olympic team.

The 48-year-old Pearce, who was known as "Psycho" duringhis playing days when he made 78 appearances for England, hascoached the under-21 side since 2007.

Horne said that Pearce''s "primary focus at the moment" ispreparing for the under-21 European championship. At thetournament in Denmark in June, the former Manchester Citymanager will see many of the players who will feature at theOlympics since teams are restricted to only three players overthe age of 23.

"I will talk to the board about the timing on (theappointment)," Horne told a briefing at Wembley Stadium. "Ithink we will make the decision in perhaps May/June time. Itgives them a decent year to run the team into the tournament."

Horne said the Olympic role can''t combine the role withmanaging a club.

"We have all been there before where you overlay thepressures of the club with part-time management," Horne said.

"It''s why we got Stuart in permanently doing the under-21swhen we did four years ago for exactly that reason.

"It becomes difficult and if we are going to take thisseriously and prepare the team then I think it is difficultfor a manger in employment to take that role." More (AFP) AT

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