England Manager Gareth Southgate and Crystal Palace boss Patrick Viera were full of praise after they both visited the club's new academy which opened recently.

Southgate officially cut the ribbon to reopen CPFC's newly redeveloped, multi-million-pound academy in a special opening ceremony held on Thursday (October 28).

The England manager and former international, who is fast approaching legend status with England fans after impressive showings at the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020, pointed out that he owed virtually his entire career to the start he was given at Crystal Palace.

"Without Crystal Palace, none of my journey happens. I had 10 years here and it is an amazing football club," he said.

"I am conscious there are people here who have had longer and more illustrious careers than I have, Patrick (Vieira) and Roy (Hodgson) in particular, and people who over the years have spent a lot more time dedicating their lives to Crystal Palace.

"My journey was a little bit different so what I can say is for me everything started here as a 14-year-old schoolboy. Hopefully that gives lads in the academy, parents and people who work here belief that you can start here and have an international career with England. And frankly if I can end up in charge of the national team anything is possible!"

Also in attendance at what was evidently a proud occasion for those behind the £20 million redevelopment was Palace manager Patrick Viera, who said he hoped the facility would put them on a level footing with rival London teams.

Viera suggested that the new and improved academy could help convince the wealth of footballing talent in south London, such as recent export stars Jadon Sancho, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Emile Smith Rowe, to stay this side of the river rather than find new places to ply their trade.

"I can’t talk about 20 years ago and how it used to be, but I think having a facility like this will allow us to fight more with the teams around us and to convince young players around this area to stay around this area," he said. "When you bring a young player here and let him visit a facility like this, it has everything that will allow a young player to develop and become a Crystal Palace player, a Premier League player. We have the tools to have this ambition, to bring those best young players from the areas through."