Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 10°C

Search

England/Ipswich: Sheepshanks fears 66 years of hurt before England stands a chance in the World Cup

PUBLISHED: 11:00 21 June 2014 | UPDATED: 15:34 21 June 2014

England fans look dejected after their side's 2-1 defeat to Uruguay

England fans look dejected after their side's 2-1 defeat to Uruguay

PA Wire

It could end up – ironically – being 66 years of hurt, but David Sheepshanks is confident that English football fans’ pain will eventually end.

David Sheepshanks at St George's ParkDavid Sheepshanks at St George's Park

The former Ipswich Town, Football Association and Football League chairman has the unenviable task of revolutionising the grassroots game via the long-awaited St George’s Park project.

It was there, at the new multi-million pound National Football Centre, that he watched Roy Hodgson’s side suffer their 2-1 World Cup defeat to Uruguay on Thursday night – a result which leaves their participation in the tournament hanging by a thread.

By the time the 2016 European Championships come around it will be 50 years since Sir Alf Ramsey led the Three Lions to 1966 glory. And Sheepshanks makes no apologies that his long-term vision could take up to 16 years before bearing fruit.

“Like everybody else, I am terribly, terribly disappointed,” said Sheepshanks. “As I said to everyone else straight after the game though, it’s the bigger picture which matters.

“Long-term planning is not sexy and I know it’s not what England fans want to hear right now, but that’s the way it’s got to be. St George’s Park is about making sure that in eight, 10, 12, 14, even 16 years times we have a much bigger pool of English qualified players at the very top of the game.

“The way we do that, in my view, is focus and invest in coach education. We have got many good managers and coaches, likewise players, but not enough of them are forcing their way to the top.

“We need to have age specific coaches encouraging young players to take responsibility for their own careers and development progress.

“For too long we have recruited for skill alone. Big business leaders will tell you that it is not just talent, but also about personality, attitude and other attributes that make a valuable employee. It should be the same in sport.”

He added: “There are other aspects of what Greg Dyke (FA chairman) and his commission are looking at – non-European work permits, foreign player quotas and the like – and that could all be helpful and important. But, for me, the biggest thing will be investing in coach education.

“Investing in coach educators means we will have a new generation of enlightened coaches who understand how young people learn. Instead of just telling young players what to do, we need to encourage them to become leaders, make decisions for themselves and impose their own personalities on the game.

“Luis Suarez is an unbelievably gifted player, but he also stamps his personality on football matches. We need more of that in English football.

“As disappointed as we all are now, things are changing in English football and I am confident it will make a difference in the long-term.”

– Click here for full feature.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Defender Adam Webster makes his return from an ankle injury tonight for the Ipswich Town under 23s.

My mates who support other teams just don’t understand. They glance at the results, and the Championship table, and send me texts saying things like: “I bet you’re thrilled with your team.”

Ipswich Town got back to winning ways with a 2-0 home victory over rock-bottom Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.

Ipswich Town beat Bolton Wanderers 2-0 at Portman Road to move back up to fifth in the Championship table.

Dominic Iorfa says Ipswich Town’s players are feeling confident ahead of Saturday’s trip to Championship table-toppers Leeds United.

The feeling walking out of the ground on Saturday was pretty much what we’d all settle for most weeks – happy that Ipswich Town have won.

Ipswich Town fans should, to use modern football parlance, be ‘buzzing’.

Ipswich Town back to winnings ways by beating Bolton 2-0 at Portman Road and you’ve been sharing your photos of the day using the #myitfcpic and #itfc hashtags

Ipswich Town beat Bolton Wanderers 2-0 at Portman Road in a Championship match yesterday. MIKE BACON gives his player ratings.

Second half goals from Cole Skuse and David McGoldrick saw Ipswich Town beat rock-bottom side Bolton Wanderers in the Championship. STUART WATSON gives his observations.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24