By Nicholas Veevers
Roy Hodgson has addressed The FA Council for the first time since becoming England manager.
It was the first Council meeting of 2013, The FA’s 150th anniversary year, and Hodgson was introduced by Chairman David Bernstein and Leader Of The Council Barry Bright.
Made up of representatives from the national and professional game, there were around 100 Council members in attendance at Wembley Stadium on Thursday.
Hodgson spoke about his enjoyment and pride in the job so far along with his ambitions for the future, firstly qualification for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The 65-year-old also took questions from the floor on a variety of topics, in a 20-minute session in front of the Council.
He said: “I’d like to thank the Chairman for letting me speak to the Council.
“It’s the first time but it’s an honour for me because I realise the job that you all do, especially at local levels and it’s a pleasure to be here.
“This is a job that I have always wanted to do, so it was very nice when the Chairman and his selection committee decided I was to be the man.
“That was a tremendous, proud moment for me at the end of a very long career.
“I didn’t know what to expect, as you don’t when you go into a new job, so I came into it totally blind from what the media say and you’re never quite certain what you’re going to find.
“But I’ve got say, the support that I’ve received from the Chairman, Alex Horne, Adrian Bevington and Sir Trevor Brooking has been quite outstanding.
“The whole FA staff has surprised me, not that I should’ve been surprised, with regards to the quality of the organisation.
“I’ve worked at some big clubs, but the organisation of everything with regard to matches and how everything is done makes certain that you as a coach or you as a player, are in the best possible position to deliver what the nation wants you to deliver.”
Hodgson also spoke of his admiration for the new national football centre at St. George’s Park, which was opened last October.
The England squad will be training there next month ahead of the game with Brazil at Wembley and will also be joined by the Under-21 and U19 squads as they prepare for their own matches.
But it is the commitment shown to the development of players and coaches which has most impressed Hodgson.
“It’s fairly clear to you all that for years I have been an advocate of coaching,” he explained.
“There is a belief that you don’t get taught or coached how to play football, you can either do it or you can’t and that players are born, not made and coaching certificates are a waste of time.
“I’ve always railed against that argument and railed against any cuts to coach education programmes, so I’ve been disappointed that we haven’t had the same kind of facilities as the French have and the Spanish have.
“Now, I think we have got arguably the best in the world and we can be very proud of St. George’s Park.
“People will be very happy to go there and that will help us to develop players and coaches and perhaps even more important than that, it says to everybody that the English Football Association take the development of players and coaches very seriously."
By Nicholas Veevers