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Everton academy chief slams English recruitment laws

Everton academy chief Ray Hall has joined the chorus of criticism for England's junior recruitment laws.

He told evertonfc.com: "I believe we're the only developed football nation that restricts boys going to the best learning and development centres. It's almost like Oxford or Cambridge University saying, 'We only allow students from the South-East of England.'"

And the clubs are penalized as well, often by simple geography. Everton's position at the heart of the football hotbed that is the North-West of England means not only are they competing with a number of other clubs for the best young players in the region, but large parts of their recruitment area are unpopulated.

Hall says: "We're geographically disadvantaged because half of our catchment area is the Irish Sea. We've got the Lake District and the geography involved in that, there aren't many people that live there, and we're surrounded by the mountains of North Wales.

"We're disadvantaged geographically but also we have a number of Premier League clubs in our catchment area, as well as 22 other league clubs including the likes of Tranmere Rovers and Crewe Alexandra and so on."

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