The home of England Football, St. George’s Park, welcomed The Prince of Wales, President of The FA, to mark the site’s 10th anniversary.
His Royal Highness observed training sessions involving the England men’s senior deaf team and the England men’s Powerchair development squad, before going on to meet girls and boys from community clubs and the England representatives at this year’s Street Child World Cup. The activities were across some of the venue’s 13 outdoor pitches, full-size indoor 3-G pitch and indoor Futsal arena.
Since its opening in 2012, the performance-first environment has delivered in line with the vision the FA originally set out, making a huge contribution to the success of the English game with twelve tournament wins, including summer successes at UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 and European U19 men’s Championship.
The Staffordshire facility now hosts over 80 England team camps a year across men’s and women’s seniors, development and para squads. All squads benefit from the state-of-the-art pitches, strength & conditioning gym and facilities within the National Football Centre that include cryotherapy, hydrotherapy and physiotherapy suites, as well as a performance studio.
The venue provides a single approach for the development of elite English football, ensuring a cohesive talent pathway for the progression of players across all its teams.
Alongside its proud role in delivering a pathway for England’s many elite teams, the site is home to England Football Learning – The FA’s education arm. The department offers a breadth of coaching courses and learning resources, for those taking their first steps into football coaching at grassroots level with its Introduction to Coaching Football Course, through to supporting the development and career opportunities within the professional game.
England Football Learning supports the development of coaches and the wider workforce across departments including sports medicine and safeguarding, whilst helping those looking to step into management and senior technical roles with its UEFA A Licence, UEFA Pro Licence and Technical Directors course. In total over 9000 learners have been supported since the venues opening with notable participants including Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard and Emma Hayes.
Mark Bullingham, CEO at The FA, said: “St. George’s Park continues to deliver on the vision we set out ten years ago to provide consistent world class support for our England teams. Since St George’s Park opened, our teams have won twelve tournaments, and we are confident that our best-in-class facilities, coaching and learning will support more success for future generations.
"Our investment supported by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Sport England and the National Lottery continues to drive success for the English game.”
In addition to being home of the England teams and England Football Learning, the site has further hosted over 2000 elite teams across multiple sports. These include the likes of Barcelona, Benfica, Olympique de Marseille, England Cricket, RFU England and their international counterparts from Ireland and Argentina, British Judo, British Athletics, England Dodgeball, Shanghai SIPG, and many more - showing the breadth of facilities for multiple sporting disciplines. The Hilton at St. George’s Park also provides a home away from home for these teams and sporting bodies.
Beyond the elite set up, teams across the country have the chance to win silverware at the National Football Centre with several annual grassroots competitions, including The FA Disability Cup hosted at the venue each summer.