Dyke willing to fund coaching

Greg Dyke has vowed to invest in coaching if that is the best way to achieve his vision for the England national team.

Last Updated: 05/09/13 at 17:55 Post Comment

Greg Dyke: FA chairman ready to invest in new coaches

Greg Dyke: FA chairman ready to invest in new coaches

The Football Association chairman awoke on Thursday to a mixed response to his keynote speech outlining his fears - and ambitious targets - for the senior side.

Dyke is establishing a commission to get to the bottom of just why the number of English players starting in the Premier League fell to a new low of 32% last season.

And the ultimate aim for David Bernstein's replacement is to put in place a system which helps England to victory in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

It was put to Dyke, in a telephone interview on Sky Sports News, that England's problem in developing talent could be down to a lack of coaches - just 1,161 with the UEFA Pro Licence as opposed to 12,720 in Spain - rather than the number of foreign imports in the Premier League.

And he said: "I think you're quoting the numbers from my speech.

"I spoke to the guy responsible for coaching at UEFA and he said 'you're not necessarily comparing apples with apples', but it does seem to me that's something we should look at.

"If it means a very large additional investment into coaching, let's do it. The FA is pretty well off compared to most FAs in the world, but you've got a restricted budget so you can do some things and not others.

"We've already appointed (director of elite development) Dan Ashworth, and he's appointed some pretty good quality coaches already.

"We have a new U21 manager (Gareth Southgate) responsible for the whole structure.

"When I arrived one of the things I found was there seems to be no co-ordination between the U16s and the national team.

"It seems to me you need to identify talent, nurture it, make them feel wanted by England and gradually move them through. That's now happening."

The plan is for Dyke's commission to collate ideas which the FA will then attempt to implement - with the support of the Premier League.

And Dyke believes in six months time he will have a better idea of whether his vision - for the national team to be at the heart of English football - is achievable.

He said: "This is not about a chairman, this is about putting in place a structure, an ambition, a goal. It doesn't matter who the chairman is, in all honesty.

"Why don't you invite me back on in about six months and I'll tell you if there are enough ideas we think will make a difference, that we can implement."

Winter break

In his speech, Dyke put the issue of a winter break back on the agenda as he made it clear that he believes the English game is not in a healthy state.

He reeled off a number of statistics, all of which underlined just how few English players are starting regularly in the top flight.

He spelled out his grim diagnosis by telling a captivated audience in central London: "The situation is very serious. English football is a tanker which needs turning.

"And we all have a responsibility to do our best to reverse this frightening trend because if we fail we will be letting English football down and we will be letting the nation down."

Dyke, who assumed his position in June, will chair a commission that he hopes will also include representation from the Premier League.

The commission will hear evidence from players and managers from past and present, academics and journalists in the hope that they can come up with a plan to remedy the dwindling number of home-grown stars in the Premier League.

A quota system will be discussed and the commission will also debate reform of the loan system.

Intriguingly, Dyke then added: "I would also expect the commission to evaluate the pros and cons of a mid-season break."

A mid-season break is commonplace on the continent, but it has never been introduced into English football despite lobbying from key figures.

Former England manager Fabio Capello said the lack of a winter break has been one of the main reasons behind the Three Lions' failure to win a major tournament since 1966.

England could move into line with its European rivals if all parties involved can agree to bring in a respite.

Despite the paucity of English players in the top flight at the moment, Dyke set two ambitious goals on Wednesday.

"I want to set the whole of English football two targets," he said. "The first is for the England team to at least reach the semi finals of the European Championships in 2020. The second is for us to win the World Cup in 2022.

"To show we are making progress I'd like to see us do well in the Under-20s World Cup in 2017 with the objective of that squad then moving on to the Under-21 European Championships.

"Are these realistic targets? Without targets what are we working towards? Some will say that targets are only burdening our players with more pressure but top players have to be able to handle pressure if they want to be winners - and we want to be winners."

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