Greg Dyke: 'Playing for England is the ultimate'

Thursday 23 Apr 2015
Greg Dyke spoke to FATV on St. George's Day

Greg Dyke has called on English football fans to get behind this year’s St. George’s Day celebrations, and says the two naturally go hand-in-hand.

The Chairman was speaking ahead of a series of FA-organised Together For England Roadshows – at St. George’s Park, Wembley Stadium and in the Somerset village of St. George’s.

"I go back to when I was a kid and St. George’s Day was an important day," said Dyke. 

FA Chairman speaks to FATV on St. George's Day

"We used to have celebrations at my primary school – to celebrate England. 

"Over time I think it got captured by political movements which was a mistake because we should be celebrating England, particularly in the area of football."

The events will formally mark St. George’s Day and celebrate England’s national day through the power of football, while at the same time aiming to inspire the next generation of Three Lions fans.

A number of familiar faces from the world of football will be present on the day, including Under-21s head coach Gareth Southgate, former England international Michael Owen and Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland – to name but a few.

On the day, the star guests will be engaging with local schoolchildren and taking part in a number of sporting activities with them.

There will then be time for a Q&A sessions with the youngsters, and Dyke said the events will be a great way to inspire the next generation.

"We want young English footballers to want to play for England," he added. 

Roy Hodgson and Gary Cahill with school kids on St George

Roy Hodgson and Gary Cahill surprised gave youngsters at Wembley an early St. George's Day treat

"It’s an important part of their development and playing for the England first is the ultimate for a footballer  - or it should be. 

"That’s what we want, that playing for England matters and young English footballers should feel that it matters – that they can play for their club but they also want to play for England.

"If you’re a young English boy coming through the system, you should want to play for England.

"We’re going through a good period where we’re having a lot of good kids coming through the academies in some of the big clubs – but in some club they’re still struggling to get into the first team.

"We’ve got to get those kids into the first team, because that way they get to play for England.

"If you talk to Roy Hodgson he’ll tell you. He sees great kids at 16, 17 or 18. We’ve got to get them games in English first teams."

The Together For England Roadshows began in Southampton back in January. 

In February they moved on to Middlesbrough, before heading back south to Barnet for the March instalment.

By FA Staff