Sky Sports views

To mark the Football Association's 150th anniversary celebrations, Sky Sports News is at the Connaught Rooms in Central London, where the first meeting of the Football Association took place, to find out what more about the organisation's work and history...

Last Updated: 16/01/13 10:43am

Trevor Brooking, FA Director of Football Development

"Sometimes you get a lot of high-profile issues that capture everyone's attention, but participation - particularly with youngsters playing mini-soccer - is escalating all of the time. What we've got to try and do is get that transition from small-sided games to when they go into their teenage years. That's why we did the Youth Development review and we're going from five-a-side, to seven-a-side to nine-a-side and then 11 against 11, to try and help that transition because we want youngsters to develop their technical skills. Our age-appropriate courses should try and help us encourage more Mums and Dads to get their young teams playing out from the back.

"There's a lot of money now going into the elite clubs for youth development - some £30-odd million, so that I think will change. In the next few years I'd like to believe that we can get a stronger depth of younger talent coming through. But it's got to start at the grassroots and that's where about 400,000 volunteers all help us - particularly on weekends like this when it's looking pretty bleak ahead!"

Graeme Le Saux, FA Ambassador

"I've been privileged to be involved with England through playing grassroots football all of the way through to playing for my country. Playing for England is the pinnacle - when you're told your are the best player in that position and you're going to play for your country, your personal pride is huge and you do reflect on where you came from. Now I'm working with the Football Association across some discipline and governance, which is a real opportunity to learn about the history of the FA, celebrate it but also look forward to what the future holds as well. I'm doing some work with the FA independently, but as an Ambassador I'm looking at what we can to promote what the FA does at grassroots.

"The Football Association is responsible for all of football in this country - there's something like 400,000 volunteers and 27,000 referees. There are huge numbers that participate and the Football Association is responsible for that. Looking forward, I'm asking 'what can we do now to underpin good practice for the future of the game and maintain this access for all people'. "

David Bernstein, FA Chairman

"The rules of the game were set in place 150 years ago here; that's of great significance. The structure of the game started in England at this place all those years ago. Clearly over those years the game has developed unbelievably - it's played in every country in the world, it is the world game and it is of fantastic interest. The English game does continue to resonate with the rest of the world in an amazing way. The Premier League is the world's leading top club division, the England team - even though we don't sometimes perform quite as we like, although I'm sure that will change - continues to fascinate. I attended a meeting on Sunday with six presidents of other countries who are desperate to play England. So English football does have that something about, largely because this is where the organised game started.

"There's nothing I believe that unites this country as much as an England team doing well. I remember the 1966 World Cup final and there's been nothing like that since. The Olympic Games was amazing, but it was an international thing, whereas winning the World Cup was a national thing for England. We all dream of that happening again and hopefully with youth development and the National Football Centre and so on, hopefully it will."

Alex Horne, FA General Secretary

"It's a very proud day for us. It's a very proud year for us - 150 years is a fantastic landmark for any organisation. The game had been played for many, many years before Ebenezer Morley and his friends sat down and decided to come up with a set of rules, but this was the original rulebook which now explains the laws of the game that is played all over the world in 209 countries. We did start organised football here and therefore we're very proud of that.

"Improving the game is something we're always thinking about. Domestically, we have 7m people playing the game week in, week out - it's undoubtedly the most popular team sport in the country and, indeed, in the world. We're always keen to stay contemporary and move with the times and to listen to those people playing the game week in, week out and see how we can improve ourselves. Most recently, I think St George's Park would be an example of something where the FA took its time but in October last year we produced a wonderful centre that will be home for coach education and will deliver us more better coaches and ultimately more better coaches in England. So we're always looking to be progressive."