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Team GB: Giggs can inspire the midfield

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On Monday, Team GB coach Stuart Pearce announced his 18-man squad to take part in London 2012.

It was revealed last week that David Beckham was not part of Pearce’s plans while Micah Richards, Ryan Giggs and Craig Bellamy were named as the three overage players.

Here are the midfielders who have made the cut.

Ryan Giggs

The Manchester United veteran was always expected to be chosen as one of the players over the age of 23 and London 2012 will finally allow him to play in an established international tournament having never had the opportunity to do so with Wales.

The 38-year-old made 33 appearances for the Red Devils last season and is a candidate, alongside fellow countryman Bellamy, for the captaincy in the Olympics.

Aaron Ramsey

Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey is one of five Welshman to have made the squad and will be a main contender for a starting place in Team GB’s opening game against Senegal on July 26.

At the age of 20, Ramsey (pictured) was appointed Wales captain, making him the youngest ever player to have captained his country. Despite being a central midfielder, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger frequently played the 21-year-old in a left midfield position during the 2011/12 season.

Tom Cleverley

This highly-rated youngster was labelled as a replacement for Paul Scholes when the Manchester United man announced his retirement at the beginning of last season.

Cleverley joined United at the age of 12 and has played 15 times for Sir Alex Ferguson’s team, a number which may have been higher had he not suffered ligament damage last September.

Pearce will know all about Cleverley as he managed him at England Under-21 level.

Jack Cork

The former Chelsea man is primarily a central midfielder but can also play in defence. After spending five years at Chelsea, amongst a series of loan spells, Cork signed for Southampton in July 2011 for an undisclosed fee.

He has Premier League experience, having gone on loan to Burnley in 2010 and will be playing in the top-flight again for Southampton after their promotion from the Championship last season.

Joe Allen

Although he is only 22-years-old, Allen has already made 150 appearances for Swansea City, 36 of them in the Premier League.

The young Welshman signed a new four-year contract for the Swans last season and has been capped eight times for his country.

Danny Rose

Rose is one of two Tottenham Hotspur players, along with Steven Caulker, to have been named in the Team GB squad.

The ex-Leeds United player was mostly used as a left back by former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp but can also play as a left winger. He has played 13 times for Tottenham and is most memorably known for scoring a wonder goal against North London rivals Arsenal in April 2010 on his Premier League debut.

Team GB play Senegal (July 26) at Old Trafford, United Arab Emirates (July 29) at Wembley and Uruguay (August 1) at the Millennium Stadium in the preliminary round of the competition.

By David Turner

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