Football’s future stars arrive to secure their place in the game’s history

Football’s future stars arrive to secure their place in the game’s history

19 July 2017

Nearly 900 players from some of the biggest football clubs on the planet arrive in Sheffield in a few days time with one aim - securing their place in the game’s history. 

The success of the Youdan Trophy – which is now attracting top-flight clubs from as far away as Japan and South Africa – has even taken the organisers by surprise. 

The tournament was started just three years ago as a way of providing up-and-coming referees with top level match experience – there were just eight teams competing at the inaugural event. 

When Youdan Trophy 2017 kicks off on Monday, July 31st there will be 40 teams battling it out for their place in footballing history. 

Clubs from Manchester United to Houston Dynamo, Newcastle United to FC Basel and Everton to Kawaski Frontale are lining up against opposition from as far afield as Iran and United Arab Emirates in an event which will also feature teams from both of Sheffield’s clubs, Wednesday and United. 

The winning clubs get to become part of footballing legend – the Youdan Trophy takes its name from the man behind the game’s first interclub tournament that was played just once at Bramall Lane in 1867. 

The Football Challenge Cup was sponsored by legendary local entrepreneur Thomas Youdan and won by Hallam FC. 

Youdan Trophy organisers believe it’s Sheffield position as the city that invented the game that makes the tournament such a massive draw for foreign teams. 

Youdan Trophy’s Keith Hackett said:  “These teams have the pick of tournaments anywhere on the planet but they increasingly choose the Youdan Trophy here in Sheffield – it’s a great honour to know we’re becoming the place to see the game’s stars of the future.” 

The Youdan Trophy is a unique showcase of the game’s very best new talent via its under 16s and under 14s competition.

14-year-old ‘wonder kid’, Karamoko Dembélé, of Celtic – who is tipped for greatness – returns for the third year. He was spotted and awarded ‘player of the tournament’ in the inaugural year of the Youdan Trophy. 

Top class refereeing is still very much part of the tournament. Mark Clattenburg – whose last major game was overseeing the UEFA Euro 2016 final – is the referee for the under 16s Youdan Trophy final. 

Youdan Trophy organisers, Sheffield-based, are the world's leading independent authority and education platform for match officials. 

Youdan Trophy 2017 is staged in Sheffield from Monday, July 31st until Friday, August 4th. U16 Group games will take place at Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park whilst U14 Group games will take place at the Warminster Road facility of the University of Sheffield. 

Spectators are welcome at all games. Day tickets can be purchased each day on the door of each venue for just £3. A weekly ticket can be purchased online at giving access to the full five days of football for just £12. 

This summer will also see the inaugural Youdan Trophy Development tournament taking place from Friday, August 18th to Monday, August 21st.  It is open to all U12 (9V9) or U15 (11v11) clubs. More details: 

You can also follow the Youdan Trophy on Twitter (@YoudanTrophy), Instagram (@YoudanTrophy) and Facebook (@YoudanTrophy). 

The Youdan Trophy is being delivered in partnership with Marketing Sheffield, University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, The Children’s Hospital Charity, Roundabout and The Star. 

The ‘not for profit’ Youdan Trophy recently launched a ‘Just Giving’ page to help fund its future development. Donations can be made at: 

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