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Brooking wants new National Football Centre established

Sir Trevor Brooking believes the Football Association must not miss the opportunity to leave a lasting legacy when the future of the national game is discussed on Friday.

High on that agenda is set to be the much-maligned National Football Centre at Burton as well as which Englishman could make Capello's backroom staff.

Brooking, the FA's director of football development, maintains producing homegrown playing and coaching talent is vital to safeguard the future of the national game.

"We've got significant money coming in next year from the new broadcasting deal, but we need to know what people want from us," Brooking said.

"Is that a designated coaching unit to support all the clubs? More regional coaches? Do we ring-fence some money for five-to-11 (age group) skills coaches for every club?

"We have the ability to support the clubs so much better than has happened - but in order to do that we have to have the capability, like every other governing body in the world, to go out and do it."

Brooking believes investing for the future has to impact at the grassroots level.

He said: "When you have to decide to sign on somebody at 16, the overwhelming feedback from the clubs is that the English youngsters fall down on the technical side.

"The coaches like their mentality, their hunger, their desire, but that doesn't compensate for not being on a par technically with overseas youngsters.

"That is a clear sign we've got to get a long-term philosophy in place for our English kids at five to 11 and then 11 to 16, so that, when they to get to 16-plus, it is tough for our clubs to say 'sorry, you're not good enough'. At the moment, they're telling me it's too easy."

Brooking maintained: "We all believe we should have a hub site, a catalyst to pull all this together.

"The debate has been going on for a while but you would like to think that it could be taken to the next stage.

"It's for the board to decide - but it would certainly help in the overall picture of what we're trying to do. Our regional and national coaches don't have a base." The National Football Centre initiative is the brainchild of former FA technical director Howard Wilkinson, but has been on ice for the past 12 months.

Most coaches and players believe the idea would be a major boost to the game in this country, helping to address a decline in standards that has been noted across Europe.

However, there is major opposition in some quarters, notably from Premier League chairman Sir David Richards - who feels the expense represents a waste of money - and also Football League chairman Lord Mawhinney.

An alternative plan would see a number of regional centres across the country, rather than a single site.

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Tribal Football Staff

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