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England boss praise for football centre

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 28, 2013

HRH Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (William and Kate) visit to St George's Park FA Centre Roy Hodgson

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ENGLAND manager Roy Hodgson has spoken of his admiration for the new national football centre.

The 65-year-old talked glowingly about St George’s Park as he addressed the Football Association (FA) council as part of its 150th anniversary celebrations.

Mr Hodgson revealed that the England squad will be training there next month ahead of the game with Brazil at Wembley and will also be joined by the Under-21 and U19 squads as they prepare for their own matches.

But, it is the commitment shown to the development of players and coaches which has most impressed Hodgson.

“It’s fairly clear to you all that for years I have been an advocate of coaching,” he said.

“There is a belief that you don’t get taught or coached how to play football, you can either do it or you can’t and that players are born, not made and coaching certificates are a waste of time.

“I’ve always railed against that argument and railed against any cuts to coach education programmes, so I’ve been disappointed that we haven’t had the same kind of facilities as the French have and the Spanish have.

“Now, I think we have got arguably the best in the world and we can be very proud of St George’s Park.

“People will be very happy to go there and that will help us to develop players and coaches and perhaps even more important than that, it says to everybody that the English Football Association take the development of players and coaches very seriously.”

“I didn’t know what to expect,, so I came into it totally blind from what the media say and you’re never quite certain what you’re going to find.

“The whole FA staff has surprised me, not that I should’ve been surprised, with regards to the quality of the organisation.

“I’ve worked at some big clubs, but the organisation of everything with regard to matches and how everything is done makes certain that you as a coach or you as a player, are in the best possible position to deliver what the nation wants you to deliver.”

The £105 million facility was officially opened by the Prince William and Kate last October after being in gestation for more than 10 years.

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