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No more excuses after Burton opening: Gerrard

BURTON UPON TRENT -- England captain Steven Gerrard admits his country can have no more excuses for failure on the international stage after the English FA unveiled their new National Football Centre on Tuesday.

St. George's Park, the Burton home of the new National Football Centre, was officially opened by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who arrived by helicopter to be greeted by over 1,000 leading soccer figures to mark the culmination of a US$105 million soccer master-plan.

The FA first discussed such a centre in 1975 and now hope their home of excellence for players and coaches will deliver a winning England team within the next 15 years.

It will also be a permanent training base for England before games, with players having their own on-site hotel, their individual rooms adorned by pictures of their international predecessors.

England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, who has a photo of ex-England forward Gary Lineker on his St. George's bedroom wall, said: “The lads are buzzing and feel really lucky to have facilities like this.

“I hope it makes a difference. We've got the best stadium in the world and now the training facilities too so we have taken away all of the excuses for the future.

“Football these days is all about preparation and recovery at the top level.”

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Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge stand with members of the England soccer squad at St. George's Park near Burton Upon Trent in Staffordshire, England, Tuesday, Oct. 9. England captain Steven Gerrard admits his country can have no more excuses for failure on the international stage after the English FA unveiled their new National Football Centre. (AP)

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