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Ferguson won’t let United kids play in Olympics

Sir Alex Ferguson has given the clearest indication yet that he will not entertain the prospect of young Manchester United players being involved in the Great Britain team at the 2012 London Olympics.

AFP, Saturday 26 Nov 2011
Welbeck
Manchester United young players Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck.
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But the veteran Scottish manager has paved the way for experienced winger Ryan Giggs to make a potentially emotional appearance for the GB side at the Games where he could line up alongside his former Old Trafford team mate David Beckham, as two of the three over-age players allowed in the under-23 Olympic squad.

Olympic team manager Stuart Pearce has already indicated that he would like players such as Giggs to have the opportunity to take centre stage at a time when Premier League teams will be preparing for the start of the 2012-13 domestic season.

But, while Ferguson is enthusiastic about such a possibility, he will not approve of young England players who have been involved at Euro 2012 then being selected for the Olympics which see GB play their opening game, at Old Trafford on July 26, less than four weeks after the end of the European Championships.

"One thing I am quite clear about is I wouldn't like to see our young players who might be involved in Euro 2012 then selected for the Olympics," said Ferguson.

"United might well have a direct interest in this with our up and coming youngsters like Danny Welbeck, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Tom Cleverley now on the international scene.

"I welcome their involvement at international level. They are ready for it and the experience will help them develop as they aim for the top.

"But if they go to the Euro finals they will need a break. I know they are fit, young and eager but they will need to rest. I'm sure Stuart Pearce will bear this in mind."

The Giggs situation is different in Ferguson's mind because the Welshman has never appeared in the finals of a major international tournament.

Ferguson added: "Stuart Pearce made sense when he pointed out that a player like Ryan Giggs, who has missed out on playing in the major international tournaments with Wales, might welcome the opportunity to play.

"It might well appeal. I suppose it is probably best left to individual choice."

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