Foreign imports harming English game - Venables

February 16, 2007

England assistant manager Terry Venables believes importing young players from all over the world is harming the England team.

Venables is convinced the academy system in England is failing the national team because clubs like Arsenal are signing foreign players as youngsters instead of giving local talent the opportunity to progress.

'The academy system is something that hasn`t really borne fruit in the way we wished it did,' Venables told The Guardian.

'There are a lot of players coming from around the world which makes it difficult for local boys. When I was playing it was just Great Britain that clubs picked from. You had to be the best in Great Britain which wasn`t easy.

'But today you`ve got to be the best in the world. If you want to be the best that is what you have to be. Nevertheless it does have some restrictions that make it very difficult for more young players to progress.

'Arsenal have a fantastic [academy] system but a lot of them are from abroad. That is okay but it does make it difficult for home-grown players to get through.'