McClaren fears for future England talent

Fifteen years ago, the first after the breakaway league was formed, only a handful of continental-born players figured in the respective starting line-ups.

This weekend, the number is set to top 300; this lack of opportunity for home-grown stars is a worry for the future.

During his time at Middlesbrough, McClaren was not afraid to give youth a chance and he is unequivocal in his backing for the FA/McDonald's initiative aimed at boosting the standard and availability of qualified coaching for young players.

The England boss explained: "I have expressed my concerns about it, even when I was a club manager.

"I was fortunate at Middlesbrough that we had a very good academy that brought through local players.

"I fielded a team full of local talent, so it can be achieved.

"Yes, we still have the players who are in the Champions League and Europe at the top four or five clubs.

"But the platform has to be bigger. The pool of players is going down and we have to address it.

"Thankfully, with initiatives like the McDonald's one, it is starting to happen. It is something the FA are certainly looking at because the whole thing begins with coach development."

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