Page last updated at 11:50 GMT, Wednesday, 7 May 2008 12:50 UK

Football centre scheme welcomed

Site in Burton
The council said the area had excellent communication links

News that the National Football Centre (NFC) will be in Staffordshire has been welcomed by the county council.

The Football Association (FA) has pledged to have the planned centre at Burton operational in 2010.

An FA report said international teams will use the centre which will be a "hub" to share best practice.

Council leader John Taylor said the FA's commitment to developing the centre at Byrkley Park was "fantastic news" for the county.

"There were serious concerns that the FA would want to locate the centre closer to London," he said.

"But we were always confident they would stick with Burton and had urged the FA to do so."

He said the site was a central location with excellent communications links and his understanding was that it would be "far more than a training facility".

'All ages'

Mr Taylor added: "It will serve as a centre for injury treatment and research into coaching techniques designed to benefit all ages.

"It has the potential to draw experts from around the world, which has fantastic potential for the prestige of the area."

The FA chief executive Brian Barwick said: "The plans for the NFC had come to a grinding halt when I joined - not least because of Wembley Stadium.

"It was a case of 'let's get one built, finished, and operational' and now it's time to turn to the NFC.

"We want it opened and we want it to be at Burton and I expect that to be 100% clarified by the board in June."


SEE ALSO
FA sets England semi-final target
06 May 08 |  Football
FA backs National Football Centre
21 Dec 07 |  Internationals
Burton 'vital to England success'
18 Dec 07 |  Football

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