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Brooking drops plan to be coaching supremo

Sir Trevor Brooking, the Football Association's director of football development, has finally given up on his ambition to control all aspects of coaching, even in professional clubs' academies, reports the Guardian. At a two-day conference this week, hosted by the FA and involving both leagues, the managers' and players' unions and several clubs' academy heads, there was at last broad agreement on how to proceed with youth development.

The FA will now concentrate on training coaches, developing grassroots players and offering support for international players.

One insider said: "Alex Horne [Brooking's boss as FA general secretary] has pulled Trevor round by telling him he was in danger of losing his legacy."

Beyond Wembley, most stakeholders in the game agree that the recent years of impasse in the FA's football development have been down to Brooking's unworkable desire to control all aspects of youth development, even in club academies.

Despite Brooking's seven years in the post, the FA has a poor record in producing coaches, with only one Uefa-qualified coach for every 812 registered players.

The world and European champions, Spain, have one for every 17.

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