Sheepshanks takes the long view and hopes for English boss boom

By Sportsmail Reporter

Vision: David Sheepshanks

Vision: David Sheepshanks

National Football Centre chairman David Sheepshanks believes the St George's Park facility will help to boost the number of English managers in the Barclays Premier League.

English bosses are in short supply in the top-flight while the national team is run by Italian Fabio Capello.

Sheepshanks has identified the need to improve the quality of coaching as a key part of the St George's Park project, due for completion at its site near Burton-upon-Trent next year, and believes its impact will be seen at the top level within a decade.

'I hope as a result of St George's Park we will have many more qualified coaches not just leading national team but also our Premier League clubs,' he said.

'We're creating a national centre. It is about creating home-grown talent from the bottom of the football pyramid to the elite.

'We have asked all stakeholders in the English game what they want and the result is a strong business plan, around core plank ideals - the number one of which is coach education.

'I do believe this will have long-term benefits. This is a genuine legacy project. "In five to 10 years it will raise the standard of coaching but also opportunities for coaches around football.'

In the short-term Sheepshanks is hopeful the centre will provide a lift to the national team's fortunes similar to that experienced by France after the opening of their Clairefontaine national centre in the mid-1990s.

France went on to win the World Cup on home soil in 1998, and former Football Association board member Sheepshanks said: 'I believe it will change attitudes and shape behaviour in the way we all wish in English football.

'In the short-term we hope it can also have an impact.

'We saw with Clairefontaine it had a wonderful bounce effect on France football.

'I think within two years they had won the World Cup after opening it. Who knows, maybe we can have the same.

'But this is all about the long-term future of the English game.'

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