England Manager Roy Hodgson speaks about his recent trip to Brazil.
By Nicholas Veevers
England Manager Roy Hodgson was out in Brazil recently as he joined officials from Club England to take a look around some potential bases for the FIFA 2014 World Cup.
Even though qualifying for the competition in South America has yet to begin, FIFA request that all nations involved submit their preferences for a hotel and training ground base in August, so Hodgson took the opportunity to travel to Brazil in late July and see the possibilities.
Joined by Club England Managing Director Adrian Bevington and Head Of Team Operations Michelle Farrer, who have already been to Brazil on three previous occasions to start the planning, Hodgson was impressed by what he saw on the seven day trip which took in visits to Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Rio.
"The purpose was to back-up what Adrian and Michelle had been doing beforehand,” Hodgson told FATV, who were also there to capture some of the moments on film.
“They had all been over there looking at the possible sites and hotels and on this occasion they wanted me to come to show what work they had already done and what sort of places and possibilities there are in terms of our preparation for a potential World Cup there in 2014.
"We believe that the earlier you go and the more diligence and research you put in, the better chance it will give you of getting the choices that you depend upon.
"It was an excellent reception that we had and we were very well looked after and everyone made it very clear that they'd be happy to have the England team on board.
"A World Cup in a country like Brazil, who along with England are almost regarded as founding fathers of the game, will be a phenomenal event so we need to try and get through and be a part of it.
"We have a tough qualifying campaign to get through first but I'm confident that we have the players to do that and I hope I shall be there.”
Bevington also spoke of his satisfaction that the appropriate amount of time and effort has been made in order to provide the perfect platform for England, should they successfully qualify for the tournament.
The first home match of qualification takes place on 11 September when Ukraine are the opposition at Wembley and Bevington is hoping that Club England’s preferences will be someway towards being secured by that time.
"It was very important that we went out there and it was very encouraging that Roy was keen to go out and see things, as when you have a new Manager, selecting the right training grounds and base camps is done to meet any pre-requisites he might have,” said Bevington.
"We've been out there three of four times now and are one of a small number of countries that have been out as many times as that and the World Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC) have been impressed with our diligent approach. We have visited numerous cities in Brazil, which is a vast country, and we've narrowed the field down so it's been a good thing to do.
"FIFA have already brought out the brochure where they twin hotels and training grounds together, so you can't pick one and randomly go with another. There is now a bidding process, where you put your first two preferred options to FIFA and the LOC.
"We know what we're looking for and can go for it quite early on, because of the good relationships we've made, so we'll move forward with that over the next few months and whilst there's no guarantee of anything, we're hopeful on that.
"We've seen in the region of 15 or 16 training grounds in that time and countless hotels, so I feel we've really put our homework in and it would be nice to get the preference that we've made.”
Watch the full FATV feature with both Hodgson and Bevington, including exclusive clips from the trip right now through the video player above.