Michel Platini says St. George's Park has 'wow' factor

Wednesday 05 Nov 2014
Michel Platini spoke to TheFA.com at St. George's Park
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Michel Platini has described St. George’s Park as "beautiful" and said it can only help English football in the long run.

The UEFA president visited the National Football Centre for the first time on Wednesday and was given a tour of its facilities.

Accompanied by FA Chairman Greg Dyke, the France and Juventus legend watched England Women U23s train, was introduced to the Men’s U16s squad, and was also shown the new memorial to Arthur Wharton, which was unveiled last month

Platini also took time to meet England U17s head coach John Peacock, proudly bearing the European U17s Championship trophy.

Platini said of St. George's Park: "It is beautiful. You have a beautiful hotel, you have beautiful facilities.

"I saw a dressing room that would not be out of place in the Real Madrid stadium, or Manchester United. It made me think ‘wow’.

"Looking at the history of English football – and its beauty – I think it is logical that you have a centre like this."

Michel Platini, Adrian Bevington Greg Dyke and Julie Harrington

Michel Platini is given a tour by SGP managing director Julie Harrington, along with Club England MD Adrian Bevington, second left, and FA chairman Greg Dyke

The 59-year-old says that the development of young English players in this country, combined with a strong programme of coach-education, will not only help the national teams but also give fans of club teams more to cheer.

He said: "To develop the grassroots and the quality of the young players in this country, I think it will be good for that.

Michel Platini, John Peacock and Dan Ashworth

Michel Platini meets England U17s' Euros-winning head coach John Peacock, and director of elite development Dan Ashworth

"But it’s not just about having this place – you have to have the coaches and the people who can create good players."

"If you can develop good players in England then the clubs will not go abroad to bring in players. They will educate their own players. And people – fans - like players who come from their city, from their region."

FATV also spoke exclusively to Michel Platini. Keep an eye on our Youtube channel and TheFA.com for our exclusive video interview on Friday, where the UEFA president compares Messi and Ronaldo, and looks ahead to Euro2020 at Wembley Stadium.

By James Callow Content manager at St. George's Park