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"It’s very difficult for a club like Manchester United to build teams of local boys all the time, so therefore we embarked on increasing our scouting in other countries."

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30/12/2011 16:58, Report by Adam Marshall & Steve Bartram

Sir Alex backs new rules

Sir Alex is looking forward to the Academy rule changes being pushed through after accepting it's hard for a club like United to build teams out of players exclusively from the local Manchester area.

The Elite Player Performance Plan is due to be introduced next season which will allow top clubs to spread the net and recruit Under-16s nationwide rather than be restricted to the talent pool available within 90 minutes' drive .

"It’s bound to help," he stated. "The format with the Academy rules, about players you can sign within an hour and a half up to 14, they seem ridiculous when you think I can bring a boy over from Amsterdam, or from Ireland. It seems silly.

"We do all parts of the world. We saw the Da Silvas when they were 14. It seems crazy. I always think in terms of our own club in particular, and the energy we spent in terms of scouting all over the country, all over the world.

"We had a school of excellence in Durham that the FA forced us to close after protests from Newcastle and Sunderland. There are some players who are playing Premier Division football at this moment in time from that centre of excellence we had there.

"That was all stopped when the Academy came along and therefore you have to deal with local boys, really. It’s very difficult for a club like Manchester United to build teams of local boys all the time, so therefore we embarked on increasing our scouting in other countries.

"That’s how it is at the moment. I think the new guidelines will allow clubs to put their energy into scouting and coaching in their own country."

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