Michael Owen: 'Young players' training too intensive'

Michael Owen celebrates his second goal against Germany on September 1, 2001
© PA Photos
Former England international Michael Owen believes that the current system of training young players is too intensive at such early ages.

Former England international Michael Owen believes that the current system of training young players "doesn't feel or look right".

Several clubs last year were awarded Category A status, which allows coaches more time with young players on the training pitch.

However, Owen believes that the approach is too intensive for such young players and may stifle quality from coming through the ranks across the country.

Owen wrote on Sportlobster.com: "Kids of 12 and over are basically in full time training, skipping school hours to train with their clubs. I have to say, it smacks to me of a 'more is better' stance and I don't like the structure.

"Call me old fashioned but something just doesn't feel or look right when you are training and on the pitch next to you are kids who have barely learnt how to tie their boots, training longer hours than you when all their mates are in school. It is becoming a survival of the fittest."

Owen came through the Liverpool academy and made his first-team debut at the age of 17 and went on to have a hugely successful career at club and international level.

Everton manager David Moyes during his last home match in charge of the club on May 12, 2013
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