Team GB boss Stuart Pearce believes that taking part in the Olympics will help the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Tom Cleverly to get in and around the full England squad.
Sturridge has already been capped at international level, but Cleverly is yet to have played for the Three Lions.
Stuart Pearce told the media: “ I certainly think they’ll be around the squad. The way Cleverley can handle the ball and with Sturridge’s eye for goal, they’re two individuals who can be in and around the senior England team. That’s my opinion.
“ They’ve both benefited from this tournament and they’ll go back to their clubs, Man Utd and Chelsea, with something to prove.”
Injuries have prevented Tom Cleverly building on a bright start to his career at Manchester United. His spell out on-loan at Wigan improved him as a player and the young midfielder look very composed in the Team GB midfield at the games.
He looks ready to make a real impact at United in the new campaign. United lacked midfield creativity and guile last season. Cleverly has long been heralded as the answer to United’s midfield problems and he could be a big part of England future.
Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge is a slight enigma. Sometimes brilliant, sometimes invisible. He has the talent to become a very good player at the highest level. He started last season off in fine style for Chelsea, before his season tailed off and he missed out on Euro 2012.
Sturridge’s problem is inconsistency. The youngster considers his best position to be through the middle of the attack, but last season he played out wide for a lot of the campaign. Should Sturridge find that consistency then he would be a really good asset to the England squad.
The games will have helped the youngsters get a taste of an actual competitive tournament. As English players they will also have to become accustomed to being knocked out of tournaments on penalties at the quarter-final stage, so the Olympics was a good learning curve in that sense.
Joking apart though, these young players will have gained a lot from taking part in the Olympic Games. The level of competition has been of a high standard and these young players will feel like they have had a decent tournaments.
Taking part in the Olympics won’t just have helped the English players though. The young Welsh players such as Neil Taylor, Joe Allen and Aaron Ramsey will have benefited from playing at the games.
It’s been a long time since Wales qualified for a major tournament, so the Olympics may prove to be their only experience of a international tournament. The Olympics has also given the likes of veteran players Craig Bellamy and Ryan Giggs the chance to play at a international tournament.
Despite their exploits in domestic football I’m sure they will always remember the Olympics and are probably disappointed that Team GB didn’t go on to win a medal on home soil.
I was one of the sceptics when it was announced that Team GB would have a football team at the Olympic Games, but I believe despite going out at the quarter-finals stage the campaign can be regarded as a success.
Prior to the tournament the team had hardly played together. However, when the tournament started somehow the team gelled into a decent unit. Had luck been on Team GB’s side the team may have gone further in the competition.
I just hope that Team GB’s appearance at the Olympic football won’t be a one-off, because it certainly gave me a greater interest in the games. Unfortunately, I do believe it was a one-off and sadly we probably won’t see a team representing Great Britain in the football at the Olympics in future games.
Can Olympic experience help young English players?