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Hodgson: Old guard key to England´s future

19 February 2013 13:23

England manager Roy Hodgson says his experienced players are vital in the role they play in helping his young stars reach their potential.

The Three Lions' 2-1 win over Brazil at Wembley earlier this month showcased some of the nation's bright young talent with the likes of Jack Wilshere, Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck establishing themselves as players in the squad.

The game marked the 150th anniversary of the FA, and also saw experienced players such as Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney integrate with the young talent, a process which Hodgson believes is vital for the team's development.

When asked which young players he had plans for, Hodgson said: "Wilshere, since his debut, everyone thought he would be a fantastic player.

"Then he lost more than a year due to injury, but he is now back to thrill the public. Our future depends also on his feet.

"Surely (Daniel) Sturridge, (Chris) Smalling, Cleverley, Welbeck, (Theo) Walcott ... In order to grow, however, they will need to have near them the personality of people like Rooney, Lampard and Gerrard. We are building our future seriously."

The 65-year-old believes the feel-good factor has returned to the national game. He puts it down to a number of reasons, from the national team once again showing promise to the new training centre at St George's Park.

"In the air there is optimism that is good for our growth, especially for young players," Hodgson said.

"We have made a big step with St George's Park, the centre where we train now. England did not have a centre associated with the national team. It's like Coverciano in Italy.

"Since I became coach last year, people seem happy and I believe it is also because England now has an English coach."

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