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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Nov 14, 2008

PFA backing for Brooking

Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor has backed calls to introduce a quota of home-grown academy players to improve England's chances of success.

On Thursday the Football Association's director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking admitted he was worried about the development of England's next generation of rising stars, partly due to the influx of foreigners into Premier League academies.

Taylor backed Brooking's claims and said forcing clubs to include English talent in their first-team squads would help the national side, which he believes is lacking in depth.

Taylor told PA Sport: ''The way forward would be to have a ruling where you have eight out of the first-team squad of 25 from development programmes in England, whether they be from that squad or from another one in England.

''Either that or three or four players in the first team should have come through the academy system. That way at least the English players would be able to play more.

''The fact is that at the highest level they do not seem to have the strength in depth. As a result of that of course is we have an international team that does not have the great strength in depth that we would expect to see.

''The FA has to concentrate all its efforts on developing young players at the highest level,'' he added.

''The feeling is that there is no shortage of young players in this country, but there is a shortage of opportunities.

''When youngsters reach 19 or 21 they seem to disappear off the radar into some sort of black hole.''

Taylor points to the Arsenal youth system as a shining example of how English players can be nurtured into top-class professionals through the academy system.

Six English teenagers played in the Gunners' 3-0 Carling Cup demolition of Wigan on Tuesday, but Taylor doubts they will see more first-team action soon.

''The point is that in management there is a reluctance to bring in young players to the first team.

''You look at Arsenal`s young players and their performance the other night and then you have to wonder how many of them will have the chance to get further appearances.''

Taylor believes managers are too quick to turn to the foreign market when they need to improve their squads.

''There seem to be a raft of ready-made international players available to managers who are under a lot of pressure,'' he said.

''Now you have players like (England Under 21 defender) Michael Mancienne at Wolves. I've seen him play for the under-21s. He hasn't had the chance to play for the Chelsea side yet. You worry for his future.''

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