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Football is enjoyed by millions of people every week, and The Football Association is committed to developing the game at all levels to ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to play their part.

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Football is enjoyed by millions of people every week, and The Football Association is committed to developing the game at all levels to ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to play their part. Millions of fans follow the professional game, from their armchair or at the grounds, but only a fraction of people actively participating in football are at this level - the vast majority of players, coaches, officials and volunteers are part of the grassroots game. And the figures covering those who are involved are really impressive: * 3 million affiliated participants * 40,000 affiliated clubs * 2200 leagues * 11500 registered coaches The Football Association has put in place a wide range of initiatives to develop the game at the grasroots level, through its National Game Division, which was established in 2000 to help incrase the quantity, quality and enjoyment of participation in football. Among the key facts arising from the National Game strategy for the future are: * �45 million to be invested in pitches and facilites in the next 3 years * �6 million is being invested in sport in schools * More than 80,000 women and girls are now involved in organised football * �4.5 million is beinginvested over 3 years in ...read more.


Of the original 19 students who began the inaugural term of the NPDC in September 2001, 13 players stay on for a second year. These include several players from the Under-19s successful European Championship campaign in May, where England reached the last four. Head of the Centre, Jane Ebbage, is looking forward to the new term. "We laid some good foundations in the first year of the centre, despite it being a steep learning curve for both the players and the staff. This school year will be more difficult for the second year girls because there are a lot of talented, motivated girls coming into Year One who will challenge the others to work even harder. "I'm really excited about the new season. We have established a calendar of fixtures so the players can work together more often as a team and the coaches can then see what we are teaching them in practise." Jane Ebbage coaches the players, with the goalkeepers benefiting from the experience of the England senior team's Goalkeeping Coach Mark Phillips. The players are based at the Centre from Monday to Friday, taking training sessions as well as education courses at Burleigh College or Loughborough University. ...read more.


Technical Department, it became obvious that the following issues had to be addressed if the potential of Englands young players was to be maximised: * Elite young players require a development process to protect and nurture their special talents. * Technical development cannot, and should not, be viewed in isolation of the players overall educational and social welfare. * Effective school/home/club links. * F.A. Premier League and Football League Clubs need to have more access to the very best players. * Young gifted players are exposed to too much competitive football and too little practice time. * Enhanced facilities coaching and medical provision is required. * Competitive matches as part of an integrated development programme. * Better qualified coaches to work with elite young players. * Compulsory in-service training a requirement for a Clubs staff. * The registration and screening for all staff together with specific training regarding Child Protection. * The registration of gifted young players carries a responsibility for the Clubs to provide expert tuition, medical provision and educational support. These key issues formed the basis of the recommendations agreed by the Council of The Football Association in November 1997 involving the creation of licensed Football Academies and the enhancement of licensed Centres of Excellence. The arrangements should mirror the current best practices for gifted musicians, artists and outstanding athletes in other sports. ...read more.

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