England's national football centre at St George's Park opened by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Last Updated: 10/10/12 1:28pm

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have officially opened England's national football centre at St George's Park.

The FA's £105m complex near Burton will be a centre of excellence for the training of coaches, as well as sports medicine, sports science and psychology.

All 24 England teams, from junior teams up to the senior outfit, will be based there, with a selection of indoor and outdoor facilities that will rank among the best in the world.

The senior training pitch is laid out to the exact dimensions of the pitch at Wembley Stadium and uses the same mix of grass and Desso artificial fibres.

England squads will be have their own private areas in the new on-site hotel built as part of an agreement between the FA and Hilton, with rooms named after former England players and managers.

"Through sports medicine and sports science, we can concentrate on, how we shave millimetres off so the ball goes in instead of hitting the post," said David Sheepshanks, the chairman of St George's Park.


  • Set on 330 acre site
  • Pitches include full-sized indoor 3G surface
  • 11 full-sized outdoor pitches
  • Elite DESSO training pitch - a Wembley replica
  • 60m x 40m indoor sports hall

"How do we prepare players better mentally and psychologically, how do we instil the discipline in players so that they take more personal ownership of their own career development?

"How do we train players to have that extra bit of puff to make that last attacking run that scores the winning goal, or the last-ditch tackle that saves one?

"Penalty shoot-outs will also be part of it. That is part of the psychological and technical preparation, and this is the first time England has ever had its own permanent training home in which to put these things into action across all the teams."

FA chairman David Bernstein also told Sky Sports News: "It's a fantastic day for football and for the FA. This has been 20 years in development with false starts and so on. A huge amount of work has gone into this.

"I'm extremely excited. We're expecting a huge amount out of this. It's probably first and foremost about developing coaches. We have good coaches in this country but we need many more.

"But it's going to be a home for all 24 of our teams including the England first-team. And then there's sports science development and a great deal else so it's a multi-faceted site."