FA unveil training centre plans

Plans for a permanent training base for the England team - renamed St George's Park - were unveiled by the Football Association today

The 330-acre National Football Centre (NFC) in Burton-upon-Trent will feature 12 pitches - including one synthetic and indoor - plus sports medicine and sports science facilities, two hotels and a conference centre.

The scheme will fulfil a similar role to France's Clairefontaine and Coverciano in Italy, and England head coach Fabio Capello has backed the project that is finally taking shape eight years after it was first announced.

Capello said: "The venue will be an inspirational site, a place for coaches and players to work, learn and develop.

"This is a much-needed facility and through my own experiences at Coverciano in Italy I understand the importance of the centre for England."

The FA have already sunk £25million into the project since 2001 and the plans also include a private housing scheme for 30 homes near the entrance to the centre that will help plug a funding gap.

NFC chairman David Sheepshanks said: "Our aim is to make St George's Park a sporting destination of choice for coaches, players, administrators and officials alike.

"In Wembley we have a world-class stadium and in St George's Park we have the place to inspire world-class performance."

The League Managers Association have committed to making the new centre their future headquarters.

Sheepshanks said England were the only major footballing country in Europe not to have such a centre.

He told a news conference in Burton: "We feel it is time the NFC had a new identity and we hope this name St George's Park will reflect the sense of national pride that will accompany the centre when it is open.

"Every single leading European country has a national football centre - even Bulgaria - and we are the only leading European country that does not.

"Every country that has won the World Cup has one apart from us.

"We don't have a Clairefontaine, we don't have a Coverciano, we don't have a Zeist [Holland's NFC].

"The 'Special One' Jose Mourinho said he was staggered we did not have a national football centre and Arsene Wenger has said he could not imagine that the country does not have one."

Sheepshanks insisted however that the £100million St George's Park development, which is being sponsored by Umbro, would not be a mere replica of other centres, and would not be a youth academy but would be a base for all England senior, junior and disability teams.

He added: "We are not here to replicate any one of the other centres, we have been to look at them and share best practices to pick up the best ideas to serve our needs.

"This is not a finishing school for young players, that role is carried out very well by the Premier League and Football League clubs, this has a different slant. This is not an academy and is not in competition with our professional clubs."

There has been some opposition to the location of the centre so far from London but Sheepshanks said Burton was a central point for the whole country, and stressed that it would not be a financial burden on the FA.

"This has got to be England-centric and Burton is easy to get to from anywhere in the country and very accessible from a number of airports," he said.

"This cannot be a white elephant, it must be sustainable financially and there is a robust business plan that makes this viable and sustainable.

"This is will mean England success for the long term.

"It will be world class but that doesn't mean extravagance.

"And in terms of cost there has never been a better time to enter a construction tender process."

The architects of the centre are redboxdesign who designed the Academy of Light in Sunderland.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones