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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 26, 2007

Howe calls for revamp of coaching system

Former England coach Don Howe has called on the Football Association to overhaul the system of player development to boost the ailing national team.

With the FA launching a review into the failure to qualify for Euro 2008, Howe, who assisted Terry Venables during his reign as England manager in the mid-90s, believes the key lies in what he sees as a flawed coaching structure.

In particular, the former Arsenal boss would like to see key figures in management share their know-how with inexperienced coaches involved with youngsters.

'We could do with regional seminars led by the game's leading lights - such as Sir Bobby Robson in the north east, Sir Alex Ferguson in the north west or Arsene Wenger in London - to help up-and-coming coaches expand their own knowledge and expertise,' Howe told the Daily Telegraph.

'And the FA could raise their own game by making sure they remain abreast of innovations at club level, especially on the training grounds of our foremost clubs.

'It used to be the way but sadly such master-classes have disappeared.

'I made a point of watching the likes of Ron Greenwood, Walter Winterbottom, Alan Wade and Charles Hughes at work and always found it useful because it made me realise what I ought to be doing.'

Howe has also called on the FA to rethink their decision to shelve plans for a National Football Centre - a result of the spiralling cost of Wembley Stadium - and investigate the possibility of quotas for homegrown players.

'In his autobiography, Michael Owen said the old National School at Lilleshall `in large measure made me the player I am', and lamented the closure of what he called the `FA's university for England's most promising youngsters', that took place during Howard Wilkinson's reign as FA technical director,' Howe added.

'That decision needs to be re-examined, as does the mothballing of the national academy at Burton.

'Young English players find it increasingly difficult to step up to first teams because of the influx of foreign players and I would like to see some quota system introduced so more young home-grown players are given a chance to break through, especially in the Premier League.'