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European Qualifiers Group E

Ashworth: Tough task ahead

The FA's new director of elite development Dan Ashworth admits he has his work cut out to help the next generation of English players make their mark in the Premier League.

Last Updated: 11/04/13 at 08:29 Post Comment

Dan Ashworth: Tough task ahead getting English players into the Premier League

Dan Ashworth: Tough task ahead getting English players into the Premier League

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Ashworth took up his new role at St George's Park at the beginning of March after leaving West Brom.

But with English top-flight clubs enjoying the financial muscle to attract some of the top players in world football, Ashworth acknowledges he must work hard to allow young English talent to develop.

"Make no bones about it - there are no quick fixes in youth," he said. "There are no shortcuts.

"It's all about building an education to get them through and that is a long process.

"The amount of revenue generated by the Premier League is not something we can control.

"Our job at the Football Association, the Football League and the Premier League is to make sure is that our own home-grown players are at a world-class level to get into a world-class league.

"If we start coaching the eight and nine-year-olds, you're then 15 years away from them [feeling the benefit].

"However I would say we're not starting from scratch here. There has been coach education and a lot of wonderful work with the coaches and the clubs."

Many young English players with Premier League clubs now learn their trade on loan in the Championship and Ashworth insists he has no problem with that approach.

"Let's not forget, the Championship is the fifth biggest league in Europe," he added.

"Wilfried Zaha and Thomas Ince are in there, plying their trades very well.

"I would say it is comparable with Dutch and Belgian leagues - maybe not technically, but certainly in terms of support.

"The Premier League is the wealthiest league in the world and therefore able to have a cheque-book philosophy and a here-and-now solution.

"It is an issue and it is a problem."

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