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Youth shake-up for Premier League

Premier League chiefs have announced a radical plan to reform youth football, possibly including ‘football schools', which they hope will see a dramatic improvement in the quality of the England team.

Under the plan, top-flight academies will be told to provide 15 to 20 hours of coaching for their nine to 16-year-olds instead of the current five hours.

The huge increase in hours would bring young players more in line with those in countries such as Holland, and academies will have to work with schools and open during summer holidays.

It follows a review by Ged Roddy, the Premier League's director of youth development who has spent months comparing youth systems in Spain, Holland and Germany.

Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore said: “It's not an acceptance that we have to do something about the foreign players, it's the opposite — if you are going to make it as an English player into our first teams you have got to be world class.”

Belfast Telegraph