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2012-07-02T06:00:00 Updated 2015-02-19T02:11:47

Tonks gets Team GB call

James Tomkins has been named in the Team GB football squad for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The West Ham United defender has been rewarded for his outstanding performances throughout the 2011/12 season by being picked in the final 18-man squad by head coach and former Hammer Stuart Pearce.

Tomkins, who has been capped by England at every age-group level and has appeared at two UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals, will be West Ham's sole representative at the Olympics.

The 23-year-old spoke of his pride and excitement at being named in the Team GB squad for London 2012.

"I am just delighted to have been included and obviously it is a great honour to be selected for such an occasion as the Olympic Games," said the No5, who scored four goals in 47 npower Championship and Play-Off appearances as West Ham gained promotion to the Barclays Premier League at the first attempt.

"A lot of the boys I have played with before with England so it will be good to spend some time with them again.

"It will also be great to play alongside Craig Bellamy again. He's a great player and a proper character. Ryan Giggs is a legend of the game so it would be fantastic to play alongside him too.

"Obviously I will miss some of the pre-season but I will be training every day and hopefully playing regularly. With an 18-man squad there should be chances for everyone to play.

"It's the first time in more than 50 years that Team GB has taken part in the Olympics so it is something I and all the other players I am sure are looking forward to.

"I am grateful to West Ham for giving me the opportunity to represent Great Britain at the Olympics and I'll do my very best to represent the Club."

Team GB have twice won the Gold medal, at the first-ever Olympic football tournament in London in 1908 and again in Stockholm in 1912. However, Team GB have not competed in the competition since 1960.

This summer, Pearce's side will kick-off their bid for Gold when they face Senegal in Group A at Old Trafford on 26 July. Team GB will travel to Wembley to take on United Arab Emirates on 29 July before completing the group stage with a fixture with Uruguay at the Millennium Stadium on 1 August.

Sixteen teams will compete in the Olympic football tournament, with the Gold medal match taking place at Wembley on 11 August.

Assistant manager Neil McDonald said Tomkins had the Club's blessing to join up with Team GB following this week's training camp in Austria and will return to Chadwell Heath after their tournament is over.

"James travelled to Austria with us and will join up with Team GB next week," confirmed McDonald. "It's fantastic news that he has been selected for Team GB and great for him being a local lad that he'll be taking part in an Olympics in his own back yard.

"It will be a great experience for him and training with them will mean he should be fully fit when he returns to us in August. He will be training and playing games so he'll return to us match-fit and ready to start the season with us.

"He was great all last season and as long as he doesn't get himself injured, we'll be delighted to see him out there representing Team GB in the Olympic Games."

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