William to open new FA complex

Hillingdon Times: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are to open the FA's new training complex The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are to open the FA's new training complex

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are to open the Football Association's new national training complex.

William and Kate will be given a tour of the £100 million St George's Park site in Staffordshire which aims to be a centre of excellence for training football coaches.

The royal couple will step on to a practice pitch to meet England manager Roy Hodgson and his squad who are preparing for their 2014 World Cup qualifier against San Marino on Friday.

Hope Powell, England women's national coach, and a number of players from the England women's team will also meet the Duke - the FA's president - and his wife during their tour.

David Bernstein, FA chairman, said: "The opening of St George's Park is truly a momentous occasion in the history of the FA.

"Next year we will celebrate the FA's 150th anniversary, and this moment will be recorded as significant as any that has gone before us in the last 149 years. We are particularly delighted that both the Duke and Duchess can join us to open this facility."

David Sheepshanks, chairman of St George's Park, said: "This is a wonderful reward for all of the people that have worked so hard to bring St George's Park to reality. The local community have embraced every aspect of St George's Park and this will be a red letter day for Burton upon Trent and the surrounding locality."

The national football centre aims to produce better coaches and in turn better players - and ultimately a new England manager - as it attempts to replicate the success of world and European champions Spain.

The facility covers 330 acres and has 11 external pitches, a dedicated practice and training area for goalkeepers and sports pavilions for post-training debriefs.

It also has a world-class sports and exercise medicine, human performance and research centre.

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