Stuart Pearce feels the excitement surrounding the Great Britain Olympic football team will be "off the Richter scale" when the tournament kicks off later this summer.
Unresolved arguments over whether non-English players will be involved have overshadowed a competition that is now lacking the United States, along with Argentina, after their failure to make it through the qualifying rounds.
And with the Premier League due to get under way a week after the final, there is some doubt as to who will actually be released by the top clubs since Barcelona established four years ago that national associations had no call on the players given the Olympics is outside a normal international window.
However, Pearce, who is currently combining his role as Olympics and England Under-21 coach with that of being interim England boss until a permanent successor for Fabio Capello is in place, insists a major tournament on home soil is not an opportunity to be spurned.
"Euro 96 was one of the most exciting experiences I ever had," said Pearce. "Playing any tournament on home soil, the interest goes off the Richter scale. I am sure the players will want to be part of it."
Pearce was speaking at the Soccerex Forum in Manchester, where he took part in a debate about younger players.
Whilst the position of England coach was off the agenda, he was happy to confirm his own growing anticipation for the Olympics, for which the draw will be made in a month's time.
"The more meetings I have been to with the BOA, the more excited I am," said Pearce. "I understand that one or two of the associations are a little bit nervous but FIFA have waylaid that."