Coaches come first for Sheepshanks
David Sheepshanks has stressed the need to produce more coaches and of a higher quality to get the best out of English footballing talent after the opening of the National Football School at Burton.
Sheepshanks has overseen as chairman the development of St George's Park (SGP) into the £105million development opened on Tuesday by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
He said: "If you were starting an educational establishment or a new school, do you start with the pupils or the teachers? We're not starting from scratch, but how do we move it forward? The status quo isn't doing it for us in terms of English football, so how do we raise the bar? You have to invest in the teachers. They have to have something extra to impart to the players and this is where St George's Park comes in."
He went on: "Between now and 2020, we'll develop another 250,000 coaches altogether across all the levels. At the top level, we're focused on quality not quantity.
"We're talking about another 120 UEFA Pro Licence coaches over the next eight years, an average of 15-20 a year at the very, very top level.
"In terms of 'A' Licence coaches, the number is between 500 and 1,000. We can't give them all jobs, but we can qualify them."
Sheepshanks is hoping the improved quality of coaches will lead to more English managers being given a chance in the professional game in this country.
He said: "In 10 years time, I'd like to think - maybe five years' time - people are talking about the enlightened level of coach education being undertaken here.
"I'd like to think it will offer aspiring young coaches the best opportunities for a) the best jobs and b) a job at all, that it will be a case of 'to get the best job, you need to get in at St George's Park.
"That will be the success measure, that we're seen to be at the vanguard of enlightened thinking in how we develop our coaches. It's all about quality and inspiring young people to come and get into this."
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