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Ashworth has faith in youth

The Football Association's director of elite development Dan Ashworth has defended the record of English clubs' production of home-grown talent and believes the future is bright for the national team.

Last Updated: 16/12/13 at 15:05 Post Comment

Dan Ashworth (l) with England manager Roy Hodgson

Dan Ashworth (l) with England manager Roy Hodgson

Ashworth, who was director of football at West Brom before taking up his role with the FA in September 2012, says he has been impressed by the current group of young English players breaking into Premier League teams.

He was speaking at this year's FA Licenced Coaches' club conference which has been looking at how best to coach the next generation of English players.

"There's a few good young English players, there's a few that are playing in and around the Premier League, some technical players," Ashworth told Sky Sports News.

"Luke Shaw, (James) Ward-Prowse and (Callum) Chambers at Southampton are all doing very well, as is Ravel Morrison at West Ham

"Raheem Sterling got another goal yesterday for Liverpool, so there are lots of examples of some technical and exciting players in the Premier League.

"I think it's easy to bash our own players and bash our own systems, I think there are lots and lots of positive things that are going out there and I'm positive about the future."

Gareth Southgate also spoke to Sky Sports News from the event at St George's Park, where more than 1,000 coaches from all levels have been addressed by speakers from home and abroad and from other sports.

And the England U21 coach reckons the creation of the National Football Centre was integral to the FA's strategy for developing young talent.

He said: "This is a centre that coaches can come to and learn, and its also key for us with the international teams.

"Young players who come here feel they're part of English football, and they can see a pathway through to the senior team.

"If the first team's here at the same time, Roy Hodgson gets the opportunity to see them play. It's a great home for us."

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eanwhile, England's best U21 players playing with those most likely to be in the senior team from 2020 onwards might increase their chances in those tournaments to a point where they could actually be potential winners. Unlike 2016.

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or the time being we just have to focus on the players we do have, Rodgers said. We have to make the best of what is available. Jesus wept!

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