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Houllier predicts England will reap rewards of St George's Park

Former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier is confident St George's Park National Football Centre will improve English football. The Frenchman took charge of Paris Saint-Germain in 1985, the same year the French academy at Clairefontaine was originally signed off and he played a key role in its development.

"To me it is a massive achievement and improvement for English football," he told Press Association Sport.

"We entered Clairefontaine in 1988 and the team became World champions in 1998, it is not only a coincidence.

"I think once you have a tool of that dimension it brings unity to the national teams, even referees can train there, national teams from youngsters to the first-team."

Houllier, talking at the publication of the Castrol LMA European Managers Survey 2012, added: "It brings a unity of place for the coaching and also for the coaches' education and a unity of place for the philosophy and the type of football you want to implement.

"You have the fields and everything to use and to show, instead of running from training ground to training ground, hotel to hotel.

"I think that once you have that you are bound to improve if it is used in the proper way."

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Dave Williams

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