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West Ham midfielder Cole remains big supporter of abandoned Lilleshall centre

West Ham United midfielder Joe Cole is a big supporter of the disbanded Lilleshall centre.

And having experienced football in France with Lille last season, he believes English football does not value the coaching of youngsters.

He told BBC Sport: "Lilleshall was starting to bear fruit towards the end of its time. The likes of Wes Brown, Michael Owen, Scott Parker, Francis Jeffers, myself; there were regular players who came through and played at the top level.

"It was like the Barcelona academy, they go and hoover up the best talent around Spain and put them all in the same place and they all bounce off each other.

"I was basically a professional from 14 years old and I think it helped me become the player that I am."

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