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Ex-Newcastle, Bolton defender Elliott confident more Americans will get European opportunities

Former Newcastle United and Bolton Wanderers defender Robbie Elliott believes that more top American players will be given chances in the UK and Europe.

The 38-year old spends a lot of his time coaching at the Nike academy base in Portland and with talented young footballers in the youth levels of the US Soccer Federation so he is well-versed to know that there will be more Clint Dempseys, Stuart Holdens and Tim Reams in the future.

"The development in the last few years is there for all to see in America," Elliott told The Bolton News.

"Where once we had 80 per cent college players to work with and 20 per cent professionals, it has flipped right round now.

"I work as a performance coach with young men and women for the US Federation and they are improving all the time.

"It's a massive boost to have American players in England and other European leagues doing well because that can show these youngsters what can be achieved. The likes of Stuart Holden can be big role models.

"The training is more professional and the quality is improving all the time.

"If they know there could be a move to Europe then that only helps their desire to succeed."

He added: "The youngsters all know about the Premier League because it's globally televised now and so many Americans play there.

"But having teams visit and for the kids to see them in the flesh is something else.

"A lot of youth sides come over as well - I recently worked with Man United youngsters as part of my role at the Nike academy in Portland. If it keeps progressing, I'm sure more Stuart Holdens and Tim Reams will make the trip across the Atlantic and succeed."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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