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The FA has appointed Hope Powell as the Head Coach for the Team GB women's football teams who will compete at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
In June the British Olympic Association (BOA) reached an agreement with The FA for Team GB to return to the pitch in a men's Olympic football tournament for the first time since the Rome 1960 Games, and compete in the women's Olympic football tournament for the first time ever. The FA is the designated National Governing Body for Olympic football within the National Olympic Committee, and these appointments represent the first step towards the tournament which starts in July 2012.
Hope has been England Women's National Coach since 1998, leading her side to four successive major finals which included making the final of Euro 2009 in Finland. She was also in charge when England hosted Euro 2005, and that experience is something she is looking to build on: "The attendances at the games during Euro 2005 were a sign of progress for Women's football in this country, and it helped provide a platform for what has happened since then.
"From those finals where the players were playing against the best teams in Europe and in front of huge crowds, there was a real surge of enthusiasm," she said. "I think with the exposure and interest in the Olympics in this country we could see a similar impact from the tournament next summer. "I'm delighted to be in the position to be able to take a team into such an illustrious tournament, I just wish it was starting tomorrow."
The FA's player evaluation and selection process will begin now with the development of a 'long list' of potential players, as identified by the Team GB managers, over the coming months. Players on the long list will be asked to confirm their interest and availability to compete for Team GB, if selected, following discussions with their respective professional clubs and Home Associations. Consistent with requirements set out in the Olympic Charter, the selection criteria will be entirely non-discriminatory, as players from England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and other territories which fall under the BOA's remit as a National Olympic Committee, who meet the approved competitive standard will be eligible for consideration and selection.
As the competition draws closer, the long list will be reduced to a short list of players, and an announcement of the two squads to be made in the summer of 2012.
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