Football

Brooking: More money needed for youth

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The Football Association's director of football development, Sir Trevor Brooking, has voiced his frustration at the state of youth football in England.

Brooking believes the future of home-grown talent is bleak because of a lack of investment and an influx of foreign youngsters at the big clubs.

"We can't get the money to support our youth programmes," Brooking told BBC Radio Five Live. "We have been treading water for two-and-a-half years."

He added: "There's more money in the game than ever before, but I don't see us in 10 years' time having capitalised on it.

"It's hugely frustrating for kids at English clubs to be told they're not good enough at 16 because of the number of overseas youngsters filling academies and centres of excellence.

"You once had to be among the best young players in Britain. Now you have to be among the best in the world to make it here."

Brooking believes the FA have missed the boat in terms of working with clubs to improve the situation.

He continued: "A youth development group is now being set up, but for two years nobody has had responsibility for lifting standards. There are some great clubs who we should be tapping into.

"We should be soaking their knowledge up like a sponge. We want to go out as the governing body to help all those clubs and do in-service work.

"But there's been a vacuum. As a country, we're not maximising our possibilities. We should have better depth of young English players."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

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