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By ESPN Staff

FA to appoint technical director

The Football Association has announced it is to appoint a technical director - after a gap of ten years.

The position will suit an experienced manager who will head up operations at the FA's new national football centre at St George's Park near Burton-upon-Trent.

Howard Wilkinson is the only previous permanent technical director of the FA. He left in 2002 to manage Sunderland, although Les Reed served as acting technical director until 2004.

The new technical director will report to Sir Trevor Brooking, the FA's director of football development, and lead the drive to make St George's Park a centre of excellence for coaches.

Alex Horne, the FA's general secretary, said: "The role of technical director will be crucial as we continue to strive towards improving the technical ability and knowledge of our players and coaches both now and in the future.''

The new technical director will have to have a UEFA Pro Licence or the equivalent and is part of the FA's drive to raise the standards of football at both elite and grassroots level.

St George's Park will also have the latest sports science and medical facilities and the new position will work with maximising the influence of cutting-edge developments in the game.

The successful candidate will also work with Premier League and Football League representatives on the new Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP). The EPPP is aimed at boosting the chance of domestic talent breaking through into first-team football and will rank club academies to determine their funding levels.

There has been opposition to the EPPP from some Football League clubs who believe they will get less compensation for talented young players who come through their ranks.

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