The FA's new football centre was given the royal treatment as it was officially opened by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
St. George's Park represents a home for developing the next generation of talent for the England football team and is designed to be a major step forward in terms of competing with nations across the globe in both players and coaches. The £105 million centre, which was built by Bowmer & Kirkland, was officially opened by Prince William, who is also the president of the FA, and Kate Middleton, signalling the dawn of a new era of English football.
The complex, situated in the Staffordshire countryside, will be the home to national squad players across all the ages including coaches and administrative staff. It will also become the focal point of the FA Learning initiative which is to help develop the next generation of footballers as well as being base for the first team. Ahead of their World Cup qualifier against San Marino on Friday (October 12th) the squad trained at St. George's Park and met with the Duke and Duchess to cut the ribbon on the facility.
Maria Miller, secretary of state for culture, media and sport, who was in attendance at the ceremony, said: "This summer has shown the importance that sport has at the heart of the British nation. It is through projects and investments such as St. George's Park that the next generation of coaches can be identified and nurtured, helping to develop the England stars of the future."
Since England's elimination to Italy in the quarter final stages at Euro 2012, combined with previous poor performances at other major tournaments, there has been calls for the country to put an increased focus on developing a better standard of home grown talent. St. George's Park aims to address these issues as well as providing improved training courses for would-be coaches that will in turn help to nurture top class future international players.
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