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England to train at St George's Park

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: September 04, 2014

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ROY Hodgson's England team will spend four days training at St George's Park from today, it has been announced.

The Three Lions had been using Arsenal's London Colney base to prepare for last night's friendly against Norway, but following the match, they travelled to Burton for a brief stay at the National Football Centre.

Initially, it was thought England would not be using the centre ahead of Monday's Euro 2016 qualifier against Switzerland.

Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney (pictured) is excited to be leading England into a new era – one which the newly-appointed captain is determined will be a success.

A decade on from announcing himself on the international scene as a fresh-faced teenager at Euro 2004, the 28-year-old led the Three Lions out at Wembley last night.

The international friendly with Norway was not be the first time Rooney has worn the armband, but his 96th cap was his first as permanent captain, having replaced Steven Gerrard following his international retirement in the wake of a disastrous World Cup campaign.

Last night's match and Monday's more important qualifier mark the starts a new chapter for Hodgson's side and, while the post-Brazil hangover means Wembley was only half-full, England's new skipper hopes they can soon win around fans.

"It's a great honour to captain my country, something I'm extremely proud of," Rooney said.

"I want to be a successful, I want to be a successful captain and I want this team to be successful.

"I am sure all the team want that, we're working hard to try to get there.

"We have to put the summer behind us. We were all, obviously, very disappointed.

"We went into the tournament with high hopes, we were expecting better for ourselves, but unfortunately that didn't happen but we have to move on. There's no point looking back.

"We're still continuing on the road we've started. We knew it was going to be tough.

"We've got a couple of retirements and then we've got young players coming into the squad, which is exciting.

"What we need now is these players to bring that form to England and I am sure we'll do very well."

Rooney impressed in his first outing as captain, addressing a packed press conference with honesty and sincerity.

The forward spoke well of his predecessors as skipper and promised not to change his demanding personality.

Rooney did, though, accept that the role brings with it extra responsibilities, not only meaning he captains the side but represents the nation as an ambassador.

"You have to be the leader, especially with the amount of young players in the team at the minute," he said.

"And then, of course, you do have to be an ambassador, you have to take the responsibility and be a role model for young kids. That's something I want to do.

"Obviously I had a few issues in my younger days, but they're behind me, I'm prepared to take that responsibility and hopefully represent my country well."

Rooney spoke of his desire to win a major trophy with England upon being announced as captain and highlighted the sole World Cup win of 1966 when asked if he dared to dream.

"As a footballer, you don't want to settle for anything less than the best," he said. "You want to win and that's the aim, that is what we – me and the manager and the other players – want to do. We want to win.

"Sometimes you can't but that's our aim, that's what we try to do. We give everything we can.

"It would be great to be successful with England.

"It's a big dream for us all and if we can do that then he would be great to create history."

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