St. George’s Park chairman David Sheepshanks says FIFA’s Goal Programme funding at the national football centre is an investment in high-performance.
Along with FA Chairman David Bernstein, Sheepshanks welcomed FIFA President Sepp Blatter to the 330-acre facility for the very first time on Wednesday.
While it was an opportunity for Blatter to run the rule over St. George’s Park, he was also visiting the Burton upon Trent site to announce FIFA’s £310,000 funding into its medical and sports science centre.
It is The FA’s aim that this backing from the Goal Programme will help St. George's Park earn accreditation as a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence.
“It’s enormously important because it’s an investment in the future, just like our investment in coach education is,” Sheepshanks told FATV.
“Investment in sports medicine and sports science is really investment in high-performance.
“[Blatter] was really very impressed [with St. George's Park] I think, he reflected that in his speech to the media afterwards.
“He was asked by a number of people whether he thought St. George’s Park would facilitate an England World Cup victory, one day and his answer to that was ‘yes, why not?’.
“He said ‘I have been all over the world and looked at different centres’ and he said he’d never seen anything like this.”
Sheepshanks added: “I think he feels we have made a real step-change for The FA.”
And on his tour around St. George’s Park, Blatter was also able to see the site as it is during normal daily operation with clubs utilising and benefitting from the state-of-the-art facilities.
“There were different clubs here,” continued Sheepshanks, “there were Notts County guys, there were Burton Albion guys, there were Sheffield United guys in rehabilitation, so we were really able to demonstrate St. George’s Park in use.”
To watch the full interview from David Sheepshanks at St. George's Park, view in the FATV player at the top of the page.