Suffolk coach hails new National Football Centre

A SUFFOLK coach has hailed the opening of the new National Football Centre – and insists it will benefit grassroots football just as much as the Premier League.

Needham Market manager and UEFA-A qualified coach Danny Laws was impressed with the �105m facility, which was officially opened yesterday by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge after the senior England squad trained there for the first time.

The Burton-upon-Trent St George’s Park complex will act as a home for all 24 England teams but also as a base to raise the profile of English coaching.

“I think it is a great place to inspire the next generation of England coaches,” he said.

“It is a long-term plan and hopefully having world class coaches teaching world class players will benefit us – not just at an elite level but hopefully it will filter down to grassroots level as well.

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“I think it will. We already have great coaches but they will be taught by world class coaches and will learn new skills to pass on to their players.

“They can discuss the game there and gain extra knowledge and qualifications. It’s a fantastic move.”

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Both France and Spain won the World Cup within 15 years of establishing their own centre of excellence, and former Ipswich Town chairman David Sheepshanks, now the St George’s Park chairman, maintains the new national football centre will be key to England doing the same.

However, Laws has warned the Three Lions need to be patient in their quest for similar success.

“You can’t just build a new centre and expect England to win the World Cup in 10 years. It is a lot more complicated than that,” he added.

“We want to produce technically better players who are excellent dribblers with ball mastery, but we have to be patient.”

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