Sheepshanks: Burton to lift England

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David Sheepshanks wants the new National Football Centre at Burton to be a "training heaven" for England's footballers when they take up residence for their 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Sheepshanks is in charge of the £100million project at St George's Park and predicts it is on schedule to be finished by the end of the summer of 2012.

He is aware of stories of players becoming bored when placed into a purpose-built training environment, but said: "I think it will be an enormous benefit for England because they will be in a bespoke training environment, I've already met with a number of the England team and made a first presentation to them and a number have expressed a wish to come up here."

He continued: "They are very excited about it and recognise the benefits of having what I would call a training retreat among like-minded souls. This will be a training heaven in a way.

"We've got to make sure there is so much here for them that by the time they left they think, 'I benefited from that, really enjoyed it, and look forward to coming back'."

Sheepshanks is confident the project, which was first mooted a decade ago, will be finished on time and within budget.

A study of the leading national centres in Europe and Premier League clubs in this country was conducted to help with the project.

Sheepshanks said: "So far so good is the best way to explain it. Construction has been going on for seven months and we've got another year to go.

"We are scheduled to be finished at the end of next summer and it is a case of seeing is believing.

"A lot of the steelwork is complete, the hotel buildings are already three storeys high and we are very excited. So far we are on schedule and on budget and long may that continue."

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