Olympics football: Hope Powell wants GB team in Brazil in 2016

By Paul FletcherBBC Sport

Great Britain coach Hope Powell wants a GB women's football team to compete at future Olympics.

Powell's side were eliminated from the 2012 Games after losing a quarter-final tie against Canada on Friday.

When asked about whether she would like to see a GB women's team in Brazil in 2016, Powell said: "For me personally and for the players, absolutely.

"If we get the opportunity again I would definitely give it the thumbs up," she added.

"The experience has been an incredible journey."

There is still the possibility of Olympic success in the football tournament, with the men's team set to face South Korea in Cardiff on Saturday.

It is uncertain whether the men's team will compete at future Olympics, with the Football Associations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

But Powell added that even if there was not a GB men's football team in four years time, she would still like to see the women represented.

"I am not the decision maker but my answer would be if we had the opportunity to go into the Olympics - just the women - I would take it," added Powell, who is also coach of the England team.

"There is nothing better than tournament experience and I think our girls will have learnt so much from being part of this.

"Tournament football is not easy and you learn things very quickly. Then the next time you come up in a tournament you remember the things you have learnt.

"We have missed out on those experiences, so if the opportunity to play at the Olympics arose again - just the women - and we could do that, I would love Team GB to be part of that."

GB went through their group campaign unbeaten, including a 1-0 defeat of Brazil in front of a crowd of more than 70,000 at Wembley.

Powell's team were also the first side in action in the Games, effectively kicking off the Olympics when they defeated New Zealand 1-0 at the Millennium Stadium two days before the opening ceremony.

And the coach is hopeful that the campaign will leave a lasting legacy for the women's game.

"The crowds have been fantastic and it has raised the profile of the women's game and that is something we wanted to do," said Powell.

"We have raised awareness throughout the whole of Great Britain. People are now aware that women's football does exist and that it is a fantastic product.

"The players are distraught but I told them they should be proud of what they have achieved, they have done extremely well and won a lot of fans. They have to hold their heads up high."

But Powell admitted that the impact could have been even more significant if her team had remained in the tournament for longer.

Victory over Canada would have seen them meet the USA at Old Trafford for a place in the final, but even if they lost that match they would still have been guaranteed a place in a bronze medal contest.

"We wanted to be here for the long haul," said Powell. "We recognised that staying in the competition as long as possible would elevate us even more."

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