Today see’s the official opening of the FA’s national football centre, Simon Bunn explains the hype.
As you read the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are probably nestled into the leather seats of a chauffeur driven car, heading in the direction of Burton-on-Trent. The royal pair has been chosen as the high profile figures that will unveil a project aimed at developing a new generation of English football superstars.
£105m has been invested by the FA to build the St Georges Park national football centre. The top of the range facility will act as a base for every aspect of coaching and development work undertaken by the FA. It will also be the training and preparation ground for all of the England National teams.
It is the 'Red Box Design Group' that is responsible for designing the coaching headquarters, having already gained experience of designing the Sunderland Aquatic Centre, andn Sunderland FC's Academy of Light.
With a range of top class features the centre is home to state-of-the-art hydrotherapy suites, biomechanics and training gyms, video analysis amenities, educational and coaching suites and medical and sport science facilities.
It also has 12 world-class training pitches, and a full-sized indoor pitch. It is hoped that the impressive set up will allow England to follow in the successful footsteps of the all conquering Spanish national team. It is a thought that will have England fans rubbing their hands in anticipation, but not one to get too carried away, Chairman David Sheepshanks, has warned that success may still be approximately ten years away. “People have asked me, ‘Do we believe it will help England win the World Cup?’
“The answer is yes. But we’ve realistically got to be looking at the 2020s.”
Not content with simply winning the World Cup, it would seem that Sheepshanks plans to do it with replicas of well known Argentinean and Portuguese flamboyance in the team. “I think we will generate more Messi’s and Ronaldo’s in years to come as a result of investing in St George’sPark. He also hinted at no more Sven’s or Capello’s being required to lead the England team, “And hopefully, the FA will never have to appoint a foreign manager again. Better coaches being produced will mean better players and a winning England.”
Inspiring and patriotic stuff indeed, but aren’t we used to pinning all our hope on England, only to be left heartbroken and feeling foolish in the end? Let’s hope that this is a more well calculated propaganda.
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