Soccer

English FA to hire new technical director

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LONDON (AP)

The Football Association says it will hire a technical director for the first time in 10 years in a bid to improve playing and coaching standards in the English game and increase the country's chances of success on the international stage.

The successful candidate will work at the FA's new national training center in central England ''to help raise the standards of both the elite and grassroots game'' and lead a ''world-class'' coach education program.

Former Leeds manager Howard Wilkinson was the last person to hold the post, before quitting in 2002.

FA general secretary Alex Horne says Tuesday ''the role of technical director will be crucial as we continue to strive toward improving the technical ability and knowledge of our players and coaches.''

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