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English FA launches major survey into grassroots game

22 September 2015, 20:50

London - The FA's long-awaited survey into grassroots football, backed by England striker Harry Kane among others, was launched on Tuesday, seeking views from the estimated 400,000 who are involved at that level of football.

The survey is part of Greg Dyke's Chairman's Commission that is examining the grassroots in England and has declared an ambition to build football hubs in 30 cities.

Also read: FIFA meeting to discuss possible new venue for December meeting

Dyke also wants a 50 percent increase in the number of full-size 3G artificial pitches to more than 1,000.

The long-term aim is to develop more qualified coaches and ultimately produce more players skilled enough to play for England's top clubs and the national side.

The number of domestic footballers appearing for the leading clubs has dwindled alarmingly in recent years, with overseas players featuring throughout the four professional divisions.

Kane, 22, who developed through Tottenham Hotspur's youth programme before breaking into the first team and making his England debut last season, said: "It can only make the players coming through better and that's what we all want.

"We want to have a strong national side and strong club sides for many years to come so this can only help that," he told the FA's website (www.thefa.com).

"It's an investment for the future. The benefits of it won't be immediate but in the next 10 or 20 years we will hopefully see the results."

FA chief executive Martin Glenn said: "We are on the cusp of a real revolution within grassroots football and as we move forward it is vital we ensure that we are listening to those that it impacts upon directly".

With the government also providing funds, the FA plans to invest four million pounds ($6.16 million) each year in grassroots coaching.

There will also be a network of county staff who will have the task of improving and supporting coaching across grassroots football, allied to the mentoring programmes of professional clubs.

The FA is also committing 48 million pounds over the next four years to other projects including the building of 100 new turf pitches and improvements to a further 2,000.

($1 = 0.6496 pounds)

- Reuters


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