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UEFA's Youth League puts pay to NextGen Series

Villa Nextgen

The NextGen series has been suspended for one season due to lack of the funding. The organisers say that it will be back next season but UEFA's Youth League, which begins this season, could see the NextGen never returning.

NextGen, labeled the U-19 Champions League, has run for the last two seasons gaining worldwide popularity and recognition as an excellent tool for developing young players in Europe.

The co-founders of the tournament Mark Warburton and James Andrews said in a statement

'The level of support we have received from the football industry, media and fans has been magnificent and for that we are truly grateful.

It is hugely disappointing that an event of this nature, designed to assist with the development of Europe's elite players, should have to take such action but we hope to be back next season with an even better tournament.'

Players that have played in this competition have gone on to play for their first team, Tony Watt (Celtic) and Viktor Fischer (Ajax) have both appeared in last season's Champions League campaign for their respective clubs.

It will be a big blow for British youth sides as last season three of the four semi finalists were from Britain with Aston Villa defeating Chelsea in the final. But all the sides will have a chance to compete in the new UEFA run league, it will be open to players aged 19 and under.

The plan is to have it run along side the main Champions League, only the teams that have qualified for the group stages will be allowed to compete. 

The previous competition has been acclaimed because it gives young players, who are quite not ready for first team football, a chance to play in highly competitive matches. It provides a very good education for many young players who otherwise would never get the chance.

UEFA will hope that their new format will provide the same kind of chances to young players all over Europe and if it is as nearly as successful as the NextGen then youth football will be in good hands for the foreseeable future.

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image: © NextGen Series

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