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Last Updated: Monday, 26 November 2007, 16:58 GMT
National centre vital says Pearce
Stuart Pearce
Pearce believes the Burton development should go ahead
England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce has questioned why it has taken so long to make a final decision over the controversial National Football Centre.

The 50m project in Burton-on-Trent has been on hold for 12 months and its fate is to be decided in December.

Pearce told BBC Radio 5 Live: "It has been talked about for some time.

"I can't for the life of me believe it's not up and running and in place and as soon as that is organised, the better for the English game."

The National Football Centre was the brainchild of former Football Association technical director Howard Wilkinson, but its implementation has been dogged by problems.

Critics claim the concept is a waste of money and question the site, which has poor transport links, but Pearce believes the centre would help the next England coach.

Pitches have already been laid at Burton but construction work on the outbuildings and dressing rooms is yet to begin and the FA is holding a consultation process which will determine the future direction of the project.

The FA's head of football development Sir Trevor Brooking is also a passionate supporter of the scheme.


FA chief executive Brian Barwick has promised a decision would be made on the project before the end of the year.

Pearce also called for the FA to take their time over appointing Steve McClaren's successor as England coach.

"Everyone wants a quick fix," added Pearce. "We need to look at the bigger picture."

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