Dyche has youth “elitism” concerns


Published: Friday 5th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Burnley boss Sean Dyche has warned the Football Association’s new England DNA programme must not promote a corrosive “elitism” in the next generation of players.

The FA blueprint, which was launched on Thursday, calls for joined-up thinking in international player development, from under-15 level upwards, with youngsters encouraged to buy into “the England way” through initiatives such as digital wristbands for reference.

But Dyche is already sceptical about some of the comforts and amenities available to school-age children at Premier League academies and believes it is important not to wrap the stars of the future in cotton wool from the start.

“It’s diluting to get this elitism,” said Dyche.

“We know they’re going to get enhanced coaching and better facilities at almost every level but you can’t get so drunk on that that you forget about the passion, pride, belief, desire and will.

“It’s fair to say this elitist thought doesn’t guarantee an elite outcome. In fact it can take it away.

“When you get these elitist groups sometimes the rawness of a player is lost and I think they’ve got to understand that.

“It’s not just the technical, tactical, physical…there still needs to be that rawness and some of the best have got it.

“They get treated unbelievably well. Sometimes, farcically well.

“You get a 14-year-old needing a rub down before training. I can’t accept that.

“I spoke to an eight-year-old who told me he had done his hamstring. I said, ‘I can’t believe you know what your hamstring is, son. Now go out there and get running’.

“People might say it’s an archaic view but I think the moral fibre of footballers is as relevant now as its ever been.”

Published: Friday 5th December 2014 by The News Editor

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