Oct 9 2012
David Bernstein believes the new National Football Centre in Burton is key to the future of football in England.
The Football Association chairman was at the St George's Park complex , which will be used by Roy Hodgson's senior side in the build-up to their World Cup qualifiers this week, on Tuesday morning for the centre's opening.
"I actually stood by the pitch and watched the first team training for the first time here and I must say it was a wonderful experience to see Roy Hodgson and the squad working here," he told Sky Sports News.
"We expect to get a huge amount out of this, probably first and foremost the development of more and better coaches. We have good coaches in this country, but we need many many more and this will be a centre driven to produce better coaching. It's a multi-faceted site, but it should make a huge impact on English football over a period a time.
"Having the England team here is inspirational and I think what we want to see is other teams working here at the same time and not training with them but training alongside them."
Trevor Brooking, the FA director of football development, explained a long-term aim of St George's Park was to get England playing like world champions Spain.
"I'd like to see the quality of grass-roots football improve," he added.
"The key to the long term at the elite level is to make sure the grass-roots level comes up, because then our choice, the club's choice in the academies, is going to be so much better and they'll be able to deal with the game of football that we see (from) Barcelona and Spain. We've got to get them playing the same game.
"What we need to get is instead of 35% (of English players) playing every week in the Premier League, it's got to be 45, 55, 65, on merit, and then 75%, because that's what Spain are at the moment, I think the senior coach of England then has got every right to be challenging and that's what we would expect at that stage.
"But 10 years I think is a realistic time scale for that."