By Nicholas Veevers
John Peacock reckons St. George’s Park will have a huge role to play in the development of future England players.
The U17s boss and FA Head of Coaching had the pleasure of taking the first squad of Three Lions stars to the new facility at Burton upon Trent in August.
Peacock’s men took part in the annual International Tournament at the new national football centre, which also featured U17 teams from Italy, Turkey and Portugal.
The four nations had the honour of being the first international groups to sample the groundbreaking facilities at St. George’s Park.
And Peacock admits he and his young charges were amazed at just how good the complex is. He said: "The lads were blown away with it all, right from when they came down the drive and saw all of the buildings and the sheer size of it.
“With the numerous pitches that are there, they enjoyed every minute of it and were quite privileged to be the first ones in to use it.
“We really enjoyed training there and the general environment around the place.
"With the weather being what it is in England, we had to use the fantastic indoor facility too and I think that's the beauty of working from St. George's Park - there are great facilities and superb outdoor pitches but you can also come indoors and train in a good and nice surrounding.
"It's first class for educational purposes and for developing players. The other nations all commented on how impressed they were with everything on offer and I think they will all be after another invite for next year’s tournament!”
With all 24 England teams able to utilise the facilities at the centre, Peacock is also happy with the practical aspects of it all as well as the technical aids at hand.
And he is sure that all of our national coaches will appreciate the conveniences on offer when St. George’s Park officially opens on 9 October.
He added: "As you only get a small amount of time with your players during meet-ups, the use of time is so important.
“It’s great to be able to just walk out of the hotel at St. George’s and be on a training pitch within minutes and have no worries about getting on a bus from a hotel to a separate training ground and then driving back to the hotel again.
"These things all make such a difference when you’re away with a squad, so the utilisation of time and space has been first class.”
St. George's Park officially opens on Tuesday 9 October. For more information, click here.
By Nicholas Veevers