Burton recast as FA's centre of coaching

Relaunched £100m project aims to become production line for English managers

The Football Association yesterday unveiled its £100m plan to bring English managers up to the standard of their foreign counterparts with the second launch of the eagerly-anticipated National Football Centre (NFC) outside Burton-upon-Trent in the space of nine years.

Stuart Pearce, the England Under-21s coach, visited the 330-acre site in east Staffordshire and said that he believed the project – to be known as St George's Park – would be the catalyst for a sea-change in English football. "I have seen change at the top level of football and this will be a major part of us striving towards that," he said. "Just as Wembley is an inspiration for young players I hope the NFC will be just as important."

St George's Park will be built on the land acquired in 2001 for the doomed original version of the Burton project but this time will be a much less expensive undertaking for the FA ,who abandoned it in 2004 when £25m has been invested in buying the land and initial work; finance will also come from a privately-operated on-site hotel, further FA funding and a private housing project.

The chairman of the NFC board, David Sheepshanks, said that the country urgently needed a centre that would encompass the training of coaches, referees and administrators at all levels of the game. The site will also be England's base before Wembley home games and would be the team's centre should the bid to host the 2018 World Cup finals be successful.

Sheepshanks said that there was a "robust" business plan in place that would ensure there would be no repeat of the debacle six years ago when the Burton project was suspended indefinitely. "This will create a legacy for future generations of football; this is a legacy for English football," Sheepshanks added. "This is a project that will trigger long-term success for the game."

As with the first vision for Burton, St George's Park will not be a full-time residential academy for coaching young footballers, like the FA's former Lilleshall school of excellence. Instead Sheepshanks said it would be English football's "centre for education, learning and career development for the whole country". All junior England teams, women's teams and disability teams under the FA's control would prepare for games there.

Above all, the FA want St George's Park to be an "epicentre" for coaching in the hope that further generations will not have to resort to appointing foreign managers to take charge of the England team. The FA also envisages that St George's Park will be used by clubs travelling within England to play games

The application for planning permission was lodged this week and from there the FA hopes to bring together their finance. Sheepshanks admitted there was a "manageable gap" in the funding. He said that "in a perfect world" the FA would rather not have to give up part of the site, once the location of the Bass brewers' family seat, to housing.

The St George's Park plans include 12 pitches – one indoor – sports science facilities, gyms, medical department, hydrotherapy pool and a coaches' library. Sheepshanks and his team said they have consulted 323 different stakeholders in football in designing the project and have the backing of all English football – including the quarrelsome Premier League and Football League.

"This is emphatically not a symbol of FA grandeur or opulence," Sheepshanks said. "It will be world-class but that does not mean extravagant. But we won't compromise." He did add that St George's Park would be at least as good, if not better, than Real Madrid's newly-built training ground – regarded as the world leader.

The League Managers' Association has already decided to move its headquarters to St George's Park when it is completed, the FA hopes, by April 2012. Sir Trevor Brooking, the FA's director of football development, said that the new Burton project would address the standard of coaching for children between the ages of five and 11, one of the biggest factors holding back the English game.

News
people
News
people
Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch at the premiere of The Imitation Game at the BFI London Film Festival
filmsKeira Knightley tried to miss The Imitation Game premiere to watch Bake Off
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes