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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 16, 2007

U21 boss Pearce wants National Football Centre

England Under-21 manager Stuart Pearce has called for the National Football Centre to be built and insisted that it is 'never too late' for the project to help English football.

The Football Association are due to decide next month whether to go ahead with the £50million project in Burton-upon-Trent which has been on hold for 12 months.

And Pearce, whose side face Bulgaria at stadium:mk tonight as they continue their Euro 2009 qualifying campaign, is adamant that the project has to go ahead.

He said: 'It's common sense.

'At Manchester City you wouldn't have your physio department in Birmingham and your video analysis department in Liverpool.

'You have it all under one roof and on the same site.

'To have a base where you can run all of your coaching courses, all your various age groups meeting to train, physio units, video analysis - all of this on a site which has 11 pitches and a five-star hotel - is ideal to me.

'There is no national football centre in Burton yet but the infrastructure is ready to go. To scrap it now and not go ahead with it is incredible.

'For me to take my squad there on a regular basis and then go and watch the Under-19s training afterwards would be brilliant.

'Every football club has these facilities. For the England national side to not have is absolutely mind-boggling.

'The sooner it's up and running and is better than anything in this country and is the envy of the world like Wembley the better.

'I cannot see any negative in respect to it. It's never too late to do this. There are kids who aren't even born yet who will benefit from such a centre.'

Pearce insists that key figures in English football are behind the troubled project, including England manager Steve McClaren.

He said: 'Everyone in football is of the opinion that this needs to happen. It's a no-brainer.

'This is not Stuart Pearce riding through Soho Square on a charging white horse, it's everybody from Sir Trevor Brooking to Steve McClaren.

'The benefits are vast and I'm yet to see anyone come up with a reason for it not to be built so hopefully it can happen soon.'

Pearce has also called for a change in the loan system to help Premier League managers send young English talent out to play in the Championship.

Pearce handed Manchester City striker Ishmael Miller a late call-up to his squad on Thursday after a run of nine goals on loan at West Bromwich Albion but believes the current system makes it a risk for managers to send youngsters on the fringe of their first team on loan.

He said: 'Six months ago I was a Premier League manager at Manchester City and I was sat there with Ishmael Miller and Daniel Sturridge - young players who had knocked on the door of my first-team squad but who had not done enough to knock that door down.

'Because of injuries and one thing and another you are worried about sending them out on loan because it took a month to get them back.

'If we could change that situation so you could have a recall after two matches or so that would have changed my thinking during the course of my management and would surely be the same with other managers.

'I've mentioned it to the powers that be as it's part of my job to speak to managers and pass that feedback on.

'I've brought it to the table and it's up to the powers that be to decide whether it can be tinkered with or not.'