Pearce reveals Championship plan

25 November 2010 04:30

Stuart Pearce wants his England Under-21 side to play in the npower Championship to help the development of promising young players.

Pearce feels the development of his players suffers when they become fringe players at Barclays Premier League sides and miss out on valuable game time. Instead the former Manchester City boss wants the under-21 players not in action for their clubs to play friendlies against Championship sides every other week.

"Can we put an England Under-21 team in the Championship to play games every other week?" he said in an interview with the Life's a Pitch website, "Don't play home games, just play away games, so there's an odd number of teams in the Championship."

He added: "So I get 21 friendlies a year. On top of that all these players that are not playing regularly of a weekend can come and join me and when I have the opportunity to play European Championship qualifiers I would have had a team playing together that basically know each other inside-out.

"If I had, let's say, a Daniel Sturridge, who was with us at Manchester City, and he was on the bench, my options are this: he either goes away and plays a game for the under-21s in a friendly against a good Championship side or alternatively plays in a friendly God knows where on Wednesday night where he's thinking to himself 'I don't want to be here'.

"But it's whether it can be sold to the clubs, it's whether they really want to put the club hat on or really want to do something radical instead of coming back every two years or four years after a major tournament and a disappointment and turn round and say 'we're going to have to do something'.

"They're throwaway lines. If we're serious about doing something, let's do something."

Pearce, who also labelled the delay in getting the National Football Centre in Burton agreed "a massive crime", added: "That's probably why we've waited 10 or 12 years maybe to get the National Football Centre sanctioned.

"For me that's been a massive crime. That should have been done 10 years ago."

Source: PA