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By ESPN Staff
Dec 20, 2007

Bruce sceptical over National Football Centre

Wigan Athletic manager Steve Bruce has cast his doubts over the value of the proposed National Football Centre at Burton.

The Football Association board are meeting on Thursday to discuss whether to press ahead with the project on a 350-acre site which was purchased in Burton-upon-Trent six years ago.

But Bruce believes the whole issue of youth development needs to be re-addressed with the current system failing to bring through top-quality English players.

He said: 'Anything that will help (would be welcome) but we have said all about these facilities and academies for the last 10-15 years and unfortunately I can't see enough English players being produced.

'I think there are fundamental flaws in the whole system at the moment.

'We have had academies in this country for years and are we really producing the players these academies are costing?'

Bruce added: 'I do think it's a social scenario we have as well. When do you ever see kids kicking a football? You don't.

'Unfortunately we are sadly lagging behind. Whether a facility will help improve that I'm not so sure.'