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‘England DNA’ inspired by Germany, Belgium issued

December 4, 2014

LONDON (AP) — The English Football Association released proposals on Thursday designed to enhance England’s prospects which have been inspired by models from Germany and Belgium.

The “England DNA” program will be rolled out to more than 1,500 coaches at the national team’s St. George’s Park base in central England.

The FA hopes to create joined-up thinking along the pathway taking players from under-15s to the under-21s, with a view to eventual success for the senior side.

As well as developing a similar playing philosophy, the plan focuses on ensuring players have pride in representing England, whose only major title came on home soil at the 1966 World Cup.

The intention is for the program to keep evolving, and players will be given wristbands containing digital information from it to refer to when they are with their clubs.

“It is very important we have a very clear idea of what principles we are going to follow and what we want the players to be doing in different situations,” England coach Roy Hodgson said. “We want to improve their awareness tactically and their game management.

“All these types of thing are what I think is going to make England teams stronger going forward, and it is very much a coaching matter. The earlier we can get these messages across to the players and really bed them in, it should help the seniors when the players progress through the levels and arrive in that team.”

FA director of elite development Dan Ashworth said the organization conceived the plan after looking at rivals in Europe and South America.

“It’s really dangerous to copy another country, but it would be remiss of us not to look at some of the lessons other countries have had,” Ashworth said. “Certainly, two that spring to mind are Belgium and Germany, who have had strong programs and leadership from their associations, and a clear direction.

“In that respect it’s similar ... but we do have a vision.”

FA chairman Greg Dyke last year set England the target of winning the 2022 World Cup.

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