LONDON – David Beckham thinks he’ll be more useful as a player than a coach at the 2012 London Games when Britain fields its first Olympic soccer team since 1960. The former England captain will be 37 when his home country hosts the Games, but he insists he will be fit.

“There are 13 months to go and there are a lot of decisions to be made but I wold love to be part of it,” Beckham told the BBC on Monday. “I’m sure I’d be better as a player than a coach, so I’ll have to wait and see. I still feel as if I’m 21 when I’m playing. I still love the game like I did when I was 21. I still feel as fit.

“Everyone knows I have looked after myself — eating-wise, fitness-wise. So I’m not in bad shape and I’ll continue to work hard and hopefully I can be part of it.”

England under-21 coach Stuart Pearce is set to lead the team, with The Football Association administering the squad and providing all the players.

The Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish associations won’t be part of the team because of fears it would jeopardize their independence and voting rights within FIFA.

Beckham was at the World Cup last year as a member of England coach Fabio Capello’s support staff after being ruled out with an Achilles tendon injury.

While Beckham made the last of his 115 appearances for England in October 2009, he is still playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy.

But Beckham might not be with the Galaxy by the time the Olympics start in July 2012, with his five-year Major League Soccer contract expiring at the end of this year.

Beckham has yet to announce what he plans to do after that. ”I’ve always said I will continue playing as long as I am enjoying the game,” he said. Beckham was in London to attend a sponsorship event linked to the Olympics where print journalists were not allowed to ask questions.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press