April 6 - American sprint legend Michael Johnson has signed a deal to work with St George's Park, the English Football Association's new national centre, it has been announced.
Michael Johnson Performance, the company set-up by the four-time Olympic gold medallist and current world 400 metres record holder, will provide a new range of training services available to players and athletes of all abilities, as well as bespoke residential camps designed especially for nurturing youngsters.
"St George's Park is an immensely important initiative for English sport and the development of football and athletes far into the future," said Johnson, who also won eight World Championship titles.
"I've been tracking its progress since I visited in 2011 and been looking for ways to get involved."
Michael Johnson Performance will team up with Perform, the world-class human performance, sports and exercise medicine and rehabilitation centre based at the £105 million ($160 million/€124 million) St George's Park in Burton upon Trent, which was officially opened last October by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
"This new venture with Perform is the perfect opportunity and it's an ideal partnership because we share the same coaching philosophy on human performance development," said Johnson.
"Together, I am confident we can have a significant impact on the future of English sport."
The purpose of the Park, which is spread over 330 acres and has 12 full-sized world-class training ptiches, is to be the base for all coaching and development work undertaken by the FA, and the training and preparation ground for all of the England national football teams.
Johnson's company is already the official training partner of NFL club Dallas Cowboys and official training centre of the ice hockey side Dallas Stars and MLS team FC Dallas.
It has also previously worked with Williams Formula One team
David Sheepshanks, the chairman of St George's Park, claimed the initiative underlines the new centre's position at the centre of sporting excellence.
"This new arrangement between Michael Johnson and Perform at St George's Park heralds another first for the development of sporting talent in England," he said.
"We have created a world-class training centre with facilities to match the best anywhere, and correspondingly the aim has always been to fill it with world class exponents of high performance coaching, sports medicine and skill development.
"We are very pleased to welcome Michael Johnson Performance to St. George's Park as they stand at the top of their tree in the world with their specialist approach to developing athleticism, not only amongst aspiring young athletes but also working with football players and players from many other sports."
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