Football: Hoddle proposes training camp

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The Independent Online
Glenn Hoddle is planning an ambitious nine-day build-up to England's next World Cup qualifying match against Poland in October. The new England coach has scheduled an unprecedented mid-season training camp in the run- up to the Wembley game on 9 October.

Hoddle, who will name his squad on 27 September, plans to assemble his players on 1 October and keep them together for an intensive week of preparations, aided by the cancellation of the Premiership programme that weekend.

It is not an idea that is likely to go down well with some club managers, who are becoming increasingly concerned about having their players returned to them injured during these long get-togethers.

The Liverpool manager, Roy Evans, who lost Jamie Redknapp for the early part of the season after he was injured during Euro 96, has already expressed reservations. Tottenham were hit by a training injury to Teddy Sheringham during the build-up to Hoddle's debut game in Moldova, while Arsenal had goalkeeper David Seaman ruled out by injury after the 3-0 win.

Hoddle, however, is anxious to get to know his players better and to bed in his new wing-back system. He is therefore determined to win as much time as possible with his players.

The Premier League is playing down the prospect of its clubs using Football League sides as "nurseries". The possibility of establishing feeder clubs, which has been employed successfully on the Continent, has not been ruled out, but there are no firm plans to introduce it in the foreseeable future. A Premier League spokesman, Mike Lee, said the idea was "at an embryonic stage".

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