St George's Park a year old

England's national football centre St George's Park celebrates its first anniversary this week.

Last Updated: 09/10/13 at 13:12 Post Comment

Staff at St George's Park celebrate the first anniversary of the facilty ope

Staff at St George's Park celebrate the first anniversary of the facilty ope

The project suffered numerous delays before opening on October 9 last year, but the centre has had a huge impact on the game from local to national level.

Over 50 professional clubs have used the £120m Staffordshire base over the last 12 months as well as 231 community and grass-roots teams and 28 schools.

The England rugby union team have also made use of the facilities along with the Great Britain hockey team and Leicestershire Cricket Club.

But the centre has been used in the main for football, and 57 courses have been held at St George's Park encompassing Football Association-certified coaching, refereeing, medicine, sports science and sports psychology.

The League Managers' Association have been based at the centre since it opened, and boss Richard Bevan is delighted with the positive impact on the national game.

"For us it's been an extraordinary year," Bevan told Sky Sports News. "It's been uplifting and motivating, just the volume of people, not only from football clubs in this country but all over Europe. So the meeting of people is very important, but to us it's mainly a university.

"I'm sure that by the time 2018 arrives and over 200,000 students have gone through various coaching courses it will be a very key time looking back. From our perspective, our focus on the educational aspect is definitely on leadership and management training.

"We lost 139 managers and coaches last season and over 30% were down to relationships, not results. So venues like St George's Park and the activity and the communication will enable managers and coaches to manage sideways, downwards and particularly upwards and hopefully we can improve the relationships when our members are in and outside of work.

"I'd like to see more Football League clubs coming as well, that's a target of St George's Park. Whether it's a Barclays Premier League team or a Sky Bet League 1 team I see more clubs coming and experiencing St George's Park and using the facilities."

FA director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking believes the centre will be crucial in helping young talent progress.

Brooking said: "Everyone loves the facility. We're now getting the structure of staff in place to bring the centre to life.

"It's great during an international week that you get the interaction between different age groups, the coaches and all the courses going on."

Cardiff are one of the Premier League teams who have made use of the centre, and manager Malky Mackay paid tribute to the "fantastic" facilities.

"We stayed here when we played Derby last season," said the Scot. "We used the pitches and stayed at the hotel and I've been here before to present a Pro Licence.

"I think it's a fantastic facility and it's beginning to grow as well. Everything here is beginning to look settled."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

t's only a matter of time before one of them throws in a yo mamma

lee
Jose hits back at Rafa's wife

A

ll you need to know about Jose's 'class' right there. Thin skinned, ungracious, bully

voice of season
Jose hits back at Rafa's wife

I

f Jose left a mess at Inter Milan then Rafa cleaned it up with a hand grenade and a bag of compost

westwoodbo
Benitez 'tidying up Mourinho's messes'

Footer 365

Muller has a job for life at Bayern

Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge feels that Thomas Muller 'will never leave ' Bayern Munich and has offered the forward a job for life at the club.

Jose Mourinho: Rafael Benitez destroyed Inter Milan and his wife should take care of his diet

Jose Mourinho has hit back at Rafael Benitez’s wife, saying her husband 'destroyed' Inter Milan and she should take care of his diet.

Jose Mourinho: 'We can make Falcao score goals again'

Jose Mourinho is convinced that he can make Radamel Falcao score goals again despite his nightmare season at United.

Mail Box

Mails: Let's Talk About Jose's Failures...

We don't talk about them because Chelsea won the title...but imagine if LVG or Brendan Rodgers had signed Juan Cuadrado. Plus, a trawl through the squads...

Di Maria Just Didn't Fit (S**t Happens)

If a signing doesn't work there doesn't have to be a massive witch hunt. So there. Plus a detailed net spend rant, Breel Embolo, computer games and Louis van Gaal...

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