By Lee Dover
Football in July? No, we are not talking about a very early start for the new Premier League season, or those pre-season games that see your team playing in towns and cities you have never heard of and can’t pronounce.
Instead, it’s Olympics Football and the only jersey the various Premier League stars will be wearing is the red, white and blue of Britain.
The women’s competition kicks-off at 4pm today, two days before the Olympics Opening Ceremony lights up the streets of London when Team GB take on New Zealand.
The squad is being led into battle under the guidance of Hope Powell, are 10/1 with Paddy Power’s online betting to take gold.
The squad face a tough challenge as the strongly-fancied Brazil join them in Group E, though the Brits have to be confident of getting past Cameroon and New Zealand with few problems.
Feeling the buzz
Casey Stoney, Team GB women’s football captain, is definitely feeling the buzz as she told the BBC.
It’s fantastic that we’re opening the Games. It is going to hopefully raise the profile of women’s football.
The men’s football squad look like they are going to pack a punch in their pursuit of Olympic gold.
A quick look at the names getting involved – Micah Richards, Tom Cleverley, Ryan Giggs, Aaron Ramsey, Craig Bellamy, Daniel Sturridge, mean they are taking it very seriously. It is like a who’s who of the Premier League elite mixed with some of the biggest stars of tomorrow.
Stuart ‘Psycho’ Pearce is the leader having coached the international U-21 squad over the years.
Paddy Power is offering odds of 10/1 that the men’s football squad will be wearing Olympic gold medals come August 11th.
And the Nottingham Forest and England defender is looking forward to it.
Every individual who has the opportunity to participate in this Olympics will come away a better player for it. We also hope that the fans come away from the games having enjoyed a great game of football.
Let’s hope the enjoyment lasts all the way through until August 11.