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Gerrard impressed by England facilities

England captain Steven Gerrard says the new training facility at St George’s Park means there will be no more excuses for underachievement.

The Football Association’s centre of excellence was opened on Tuesday at a cost of 105 million pounds and will be the base of all 24 England teams.

The centre boasts five floodlit pitches with under-soil heating, an indoor artificial pitch and an altitude chamber to simulate a range of conditions players might be exposed to when playing.

“The place has blown me away,” said Gerrard. “It’s my first time here and all the lads are buzzing to be here.

“We’ve got the best stadium in the world and now we’ve got the best training facilities.

“We are taking away all of the excuses the players may try to use in the future because this place is awesome. There’s no better place to come to work.

“I’ve been lucky enough to sample many facilities, not just in this country, but around Europe and when I’ve been on the road training with Liverpool and this blows them all out of the water.”

England manager Roy Hodgson said the facility will make the players feel more at home.

“To some extent when you are in a hotel and borrowing a football club training ground you don’t feel as much at home as when you come here,” he said.

“We are at home here whereas in the past we have always borrowed a home.”

Chairman David Bernstein said the FA wanted to create the atmosphere of a successful football club.

“It will produce that feel of togetherness,” he said.

“This is a wonderful asset and we have two of those now, Wembley Stadium, probably the world’s greatest stadium and this unique asset here, so we have an awful lot going for us.”

Tue 9 Oct, 2012
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