England coach Gary Neville says grassroots coaching is "everything"

Grassroots coaching is vital for the future success of the national side, says England coach Gary Neville.

"If we can get more quality, higher quality, a better quantity of coaching in this country, we will produce better footballers - that is a fact," Neville told BBC Radio 5 live.Sport.

And on the subject of grassroots coaches he said: "They are everything."

The Football Association's new £100m national football centre will be officially opened on Tuesday.

The 330-acre St George's site near Burton upon Trent will be a training base for England teams and a centre of excellence dedicated to increasing the number of quality coaches and managers.

The FA is also implementing changes in youth football that include smaller pitches and goals and has created new "youth modules" to aid youngsters' development.

Former Manchester United defender Neville said: "The information passed to six to 14-year-olds is absolutely critical."

The 37-year-old, who joined Roy Hodgson's backroom team in the summer, added: "I was so lucky I was given the right information. I had good coaches, my parents put the right principles into me."

He took his levels one and two coaching licences with team-mates Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane, Nicky Butt and brother Phil while at Manchester United, and said he felt as far out of his comfort zone coaching his first under-15 side at Bury as he did making his United debut.

He said: "I remember being very nervous, definitely as nervous [as when he played for United for the first time]."

He is also critical of professionals who did not feel they need to undertake rigorous coaching courses.

"A lot of players who feel as though they have played at the top level don't believe you need to go and get the qualifications and it's an absolutely ridiculous stance," he said.

"The idea that you think you can be a football player and then all of a sudden be a manager or coach without having the relevant qualifications is something that would not happen in any other walk of life."

Top Stories