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Wednesday, 14 February, 2001, 18:22 GMT
FA finds site for training centre
England stars Michael Owen and Paul Ince train at Bisham Abbey
The centre will include research laboratories
The English Football Association has revealed plans for a new 40m national training centre in the East Midlands.

All England teams, including the under-21s, junior and women's sides, will use the new complex, which is to be situated near to the Staffordshire town of Burton-on-Trent.

It will also include a treatment centre for injured footballers and laboratories for research.

England teams currently use Bisham Abbey to prepare for matches, but the FA wants a purpose-built, state-of-the-art complex reserved solely for football.

David Beckham gives his legendary right foot a workout
The French built a centre of football excellence 15 years ago

As for Lilleshall, which has provided coaching for England's best young players in the past, that has been superceded by a crop of youth academies opened by the top clubs.

"The centre will not be about developing skills but preparing for games," said an FA spokesman.

The FA decided that a centre of excellence was important after looking at other successful football countries, such as France, who have a purpose-built site south of Paris at Clarefontaine.

Confidentiality agreement

The new centre will be built on a 360-acre swathe of green-belt land that used to be part of the Bass family's Byrkley Park Estate.

A spokesman for the Forte Hotel Group, part of Granada Leisure, said: "Contracts have been exchanged with a party.

"It is up to the purchaser what use they put the site to. We are both tied to confidentiality agreements."

The FA is planning to reveal details of the scheme on Thursday.

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See also:

23 Dec 00 |  Football
FA begin coaching overhaul
25 Jul 00 |  Football
Millions for grassroots football
05 Feb 01 |  Football
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