Gary gets shirty over GB photos

Not happy: Gary Speed
Not happy: Gary Speed
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GARY Speed, the former Sheffield United manager, has given his Wales team his views after the furore over Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey being pictured wearing Team GB shirts.

Captain Ramsey and winger Bale were used in promotional images for the blue supporters’ kit and both players have spoken of their desire to be involved in Stuart Pearce’s squad for the Olympic Games in London next year.

The players have come in for criticism from Wales fans groups, although Arsenal midfielder Ramsey has since said that he would not put himself forward for selection if it were to have an adverse affect on Wales’ standing as an individual nation within FIFA.

Worries over their identity within the world governing body remain the principal concern of the Football Association of Wales, who have no legal basis on which to prevent the players being selected and manager Speed addressed his squad on the matter on Tuesday night.

Speed reiterated the FAW’s worries and it is understood that he added his own concerns over the timing of the Games.

Wales have a friendly scheduled for August 15 next year, which is their final fixture prior to the start of their World Cup qualifying campaign.

Speed wants to have a full squad available for that fixture, but any players involved with Team GB would potentially be involved with the Olympics until as late as August 11, leaving them unlikely to be available for Wales.

Meanwhile Nottingham Forest defender Chris Gunter says the squad’s focus is only on this weekend’s clash with Norway at Cardiff and that players based outside the principality had been unaware of the stir created by the pictures. He said: “Living in Nottingham I didn’t know they’d worn the shirts. I didn’t know it had become this big situation. We had a talk about how the FAW can’t support the idea of Welsh players playing in the GB team and that was all that was said and that is the only comment there has been. They put the shirt on for a photo and took it off again, and I don’t think it has affected the squad.”