Neville urges grassroots focus

Gary Neville says the pool of home-grown players in the Premier League will continue to decrease unless greater emphasis is placed on the grassroots game in England.

Last Updated: 11/03/13 at 16:33 Post Comment

Gary Neville: Says greater emphasis must be placed on the grassroots game in Eng

Gary Neville: Says greater emphasis must be placed on the grassroots game in Eng

Almost 65 per cent of Premier League players now hail from overseas and Neville believes that were it not for the work of thousands of unpaid volunteers, there would be no chance of young talent emerging from youth ranks.

"In the media, we are all aware of the next controversy, the next big match, the next transfer," said the Sky Sports pundit and England coach.

"But without these volunteers we don't go anywhere. There are a decreasing number of British players in the Premier League and we need to try to buck that trend. We need to give these players more opportunity."

The former Manchester United defender and brother Phil were regulars at Bury Juniors FC as youngsters, and Neville remembers it as an important period in his development as a footballer.

"Football players don't grow on trees," he stated. "They are made on football pitches like these. It is where you learn your trade.

"It taught me about competitiveness, about sport, about winning, dealing with defeat, dealing with disappointment.

"People think of football as being the Premier League and Champions League and that kids' stuff is meaningless. But for those involved it means absolutely everything.

"If you play badly or miss a chance, you carry it with you all week.

"It is just the same as professional level but for kids it is a lot tougher because they don't have the experience of life to deal with it."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

was there, it was embarrassing - the team looked totally unbalanced from the off, the defence was woeful and when Mikel came off injured it got even worse with nobody in front of them. Up front on several occasions we had opportunities and nobody would shoot - it was a complete farse! On the back of Salah's performance I'm glad there is talk of getting shot...

Fly1ngh1gh
Cup defeat shames Mourinho

G

reat to see Tommy Rosicky getting some love. A wonderful player. Such a pity we lost so long to injury. I was so excited when we signed him, this resurgence only makes the absences seem more of a lost opportunity.

cheshire-gooner
16 Conclusions: FA Cup Fourth Round Weekend

A

pparently Chiles has blamed Twitter trolls for his exit. Proof that even the worst things can get great results at times.

cheshire-gooner
Adrian Chiles to leave ITV

Footer 365

Manchester United U21s beat Liverpool 2-1 as Victor Valdes makes first appearance for the club

Goals from Nick Powell and Paddy McNair gave Manchester United's U21 side victory over Liverpool at Leigh Sports Village.

FA Cup: Giant-killers Bradford handed Sunderland or Fulham showdown in fifth round

Bradford's reward for knocking Chelsea out of the FA Cup is a fifth-round showdown with either Sunderland or Fulham.

Dutch FA president Michael van Praag to challenge Sepp Blatter for FIFA top job

Dutch FA president Michael van Praag is to stand against Sepp Blatter for the FIFA presidency.

Mail Box

You're Man Utd, For Crying Out Loud!

Defending a 0-0 draw with Cambridge on the grounds that other teams lost to lower-league opposition is not befitting of Man United. We're inclined to agree with Mailboxers...

A Massive Mailbox On A Weekend Of Wonder

We unsurprisingly have plenty of mails on a wonderful FA Cup weekend, including thoughts on Palace, Van Gaal, Phil Jones, Chelsea, Mourinho and Yaya Toure...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company