Rooney: 'Home-grown' quota important

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The Independent Football

Wayne Rooney has given his backing to the new 'home-grown' players quota that comes into force in the Premier League in the coming season.

Under the new rule, top-flight clubs must name a squad of 25 players of whom eight must have been trained in England or Wales, and an unlimited number of under-21 players will also be allowed.

Rooney told the Premier League Season Review: "I think the new home-grown rules coming in are important.

"As an academy graduate myself I like to see young players coming through because I think they're vital for the future of England and the Premier League.

"I also think it's important for clubs to have a bunch of home-grown players because they are the lads who know their history.

"For me it's a welcome ruling because it will make the league a bit more interesting, especially in the transfer market."

The Premier League have also announced a radical reform in youth development which will see a huge increase in the amount of coaching hours young players will receive at academies.

Meanwhile, Rooney believes the Premier League title is becoming even harder to win with all matches being more competitive.

He added: "Since I signed for United I think the Premier League has got progressively harder to win.

"I know it's a cliche but there are no easy games in the Premier League. In previous seasons you might have had straightforward games where the top clubs could afford to rest players, but that's not the case anymore. Nowadays it's hard to leave players out because every game is competitive and difficult.

"The 2009/10 season was certainly the most competitive I've played in. Over the last three or four years it might have been predictable as the season has gone on who's going to win the league, but this year it was a lot more exciting.

"Many of the top teams lost more games than you probably would expect. It was very tight at the end of the season; we only lost the league by one point."

Rooney was the football writers' Footballer of the Year and the PFA's player of the season while he admitted he voted for Didier Drogba for the PFA award.

He explained: "My vote for player of the season went to Didier Drogba. He scored a barrel load of goals and for me was the reason that Chelsea won the League."

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