FA to unveil Burton development

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The Independent Online

Fabio Capello will see his call for a National Football Centre (NFC) move a step closer to reality tomorrow when the FA unveil their latest plans to develop a site at Burton.

The blueprint for the much-delayed centre will include a hotel development and a large housing scheme in order to cut costs to the Football Association.

The centre, which is aimed to be a training base for all the England senior and junior teams and modelled on France's Clairefontaine and Coverciano in Italy, has suffered a series of delays since it was originally announced in 2001.

England head coach Capello has previously declared the centre "of paramount importance" and the FA's director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking has been pushing for it for years.

Capello said shortly after taking up his job with England: "A national football centre is of paramount importance to the national team.

"It will help having a place where we belong, where we live the spirit and feel what it means to wear the shirt."

The FA have already spent £25million on the 350-acre site in Staffordshire that was acquired in 2001 and eight floodlit pitches have been constructed.

The likely total cost of the centre had risen to £80million when it was mothballed again in 2007 but the hotel complex and housing scheme should see less of a financial demand on the FA.

The FA say the Burton project will be "the most modern national football centre in the world" and the announcement is to be made by David Sheepshanks, the former chairman of Ipswich and the Football League who is now chairman of the NFC.

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