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.

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
Caption competition
Caption competition
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

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn