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

B

ring who you want in, with Brendan still at the helm it's like sticking perfume on a pig.

rodger's gusset
O'Driscoll set for Liverpool

D

on't go to England at your age, you'll either be mugged or not appreciated. Or made to lump the ball long to a bloke who looks like a mascot.

megabrow (cufc)
Beckenbauer warns Schweinsteiger

F

rom the headline I presumed he meant boots, pants, jim-jams, toothbrush and paste, passport, tickets, premier inn long-term package, Scouse-English-Portuguese-German dictionary, 'How to be a 9 and 3/4' by B. Rodgers, few dozen tins of food and Evian because you can never be sure about the local food/water...

KevinBoatang
Firmino has 'everything' for PL - Willian

Footer 365

Torino confirm offers for United target

Torino president Urbano Cairo says the club have received three bids for Italy right-back and reported Manchester United target Matteo Darmian.

RVP agent denies Fenerbahce agreement

Robin van Persie's agent has played down reports the Manchester United striker has already agreed to join Fenerbahce.

Raheem Sterling returns to pre-season training with Liverpool.

Raheem Sterling has returned to pre-season training as speculation continues about his future at Liverpool.

Mail Box

Farewell Robin, You Were Wonderful

One Mailer looks back fondly at Robin van Persie's time at Old Trafford as he nears the exit. Plus Turkish delights, being inspired, David Ospina, handballs & decisions...

Has Everyone Forgotten About Khedira?

Sami Khedira is one of the signings of the summer and yet he's flown completely under the radar. Plus Dommy S's views of women's football get a right old shoeing...

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