Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 5°C

Search

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

11:00 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.

One goal either way could well prove decisive when Ipswich Town play at Ashton Gate, the home of Bristol City, tomorrow (3pm kick-off).

Mick McCarthy will stick with his winning formula at Bristol City tomorrow, even if his team selection remains unpopular amongst some supporters.

Blues midfielder Cole Skuse will celebrate with relish, should he get on the scoresheet at former club Bristol City tomorrow.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy said he had never encountered any stories of child abuse in football until this week, and says the number of alleged victims is “appalling”.

Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy has taken the unusual step of naming his side for Saturday’s trip to Bristol City - the Blues set to be unchanged for the Championship game at Ashton Gate.

Former Ipswich Town and Colchester United footballer David Wright has spoken of his shock at the historical child sex abuse which allegedly took place during his time in the Crewe Alexandra youth academy during the 1980s.

A 3-0 win was just what the doctor ordered for Ipswich Town as opponents QPR became the first team to really be taken to task by the Blues for some time.

Ipswich Town need to put a run of good results together if the supporters are going to be united behind manager Mick McCarthy once more, says Blues legend Russell Osman.

Ben Morris scored his fifth Under-23s goal of the season but Gerard Nash’s side were beaten 3-1 at Bristol City this afternoon.

Queens Park Rangers boss Ian Holloway issued a passionate defence of his Ipswich Town counterpart and ‘good mate’ Mick McCarthy after his own team lost 3-0 at Portman Road on Saturday.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24