Aston Villa have been crowned this year’s NextGen Series champions after an incredible tournament success that saw them overcome losing their two opening fixtures to go on and win the competition after a 2-0 victory over Chelsea in the final.
It was a just reward for the Midlands side and a light relief away from matters with the senior side. As they struggle for Premier League survival the youngsters have taken Europe by storm.
So with regard to such success it makes you wonder just how much UEFA should take notice of the winners of this year’s competition; and reconsider their plans for a rival European Youth Champions League.
It is believed their version would be based solely on the senior sides qualifications. Simply put whoever qualifies for the Champions Leage we watch on a Tuesday/Wednesday would enter the young version as well.
Villa have just gone and done a massive number two on the validity of that idea. The NextGen Series organisers realised that there are certain teams in European football who produce better young talent than others.
This is why teams like Anderlecht, Rosenborg and Athletic Bilbao were invited to the competition.
Putting teams in based on their senior sides performance would be a useless mission and would leave certain teams being humbled by the likes they never thought they would.
It is not just Villa who highlight the problem with UEFA’s foggy plans.
Arguably the best team in the tournament were in fact Sporting Lisbon; who were very lucky to lose out to Villa in the semi-finals. They currently sit eighth in the Portuguese Primeira Liga with ZERO chance of making it into the Champions League.
Then there is last year’s winners Inter Milan. Currently in seventh place in the Serie A table they would also be missing out.
As Justin Andrews, the co-founder of the NextGen Series stated UEFA have been waiting on ceremony for a while:
"Uefa coming in is flattering to us. Although they have had 50 years to do this. But the feedback we are getting from the clubs is that they will stay will us. I've not met a manager or a football person yet who doesn't think this is good for the game."
So maybe UEFA should just keep their nose out and let the NextGen boys and girls carry on doing what they have been doing such a great job of for two years. Just this once they might just do the right thing and scrap their inferior model.
image: © jorge-11