Next season, we have the Youth Cup and Next Gen for our young players.
In 2012/13 Arsenal will enter Next Gen – the European Trophy for under 19 year olds (plus three over age players).
Arsenal have been drawn against Athletic Bilbao, Marseille and Olympiacos in Group Four of next season’s NextGen Series.
This elite European youth tournament competition is based on the Champions League format, and is competed between 24 European sides with the final to be played in March 2013.
This is the second season of the competition – and the first time Arsenal have been involved.
The six Groups for the NextGen Series 2012/13 are:
Group One - FC Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur, Anderlecht, Vfl Wolfsburg.
Group Two – Manchester City, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Fenerbahce.
Group Three – Chelsea, AFC Ajax, CSKA Moscow, Molde FK.
Group Four – Arsenal, Athletic Bilbao, Olympique de Marseille, Olympiacos.
Group Five – Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund, Internazionale, Rosenborg BK.
Group Six – Sporting Clube de Portugal, Celtic, Aston Villa, PSV Eindhoven
So, no Real Madrid, no Manchester United, no AC Milan. They will perhaps be along later.
Clubs are limited to a squad size of no more than eighteen members. Each club has the option of having three players who are one year older than the under 19 rule stipulates, although only a maximum of two of them are allowed to be on the pitch at any one time.
Match rules are the same as normal, and after the home and away round of group stages, the teams will move forward into a home/away knock out competition.
The FA Youth Cup
This domestic trophy is run for under–18 sides. Only those players between the age of 15 and 18 on 31 August of the current season are eligible to take part. Over 400 clubs normally enter, and Arsenal are the second most successful club in the competition having won it seven times.
The competition starts with a Preliminary round in September, followed by qualifying rounds. The first round is in November. Arsenal are exempt until the 3rd round which takes place on 15 December.
And who will be charge of all this? Terry Burton has been appointed as the man to bring this all to the best possible end, as has been confirmed on arsenal.com
Since it is now official, Untold Arsenal wishes him welcome in his new job, and hopes he can bring lots of success to the Youth development.
Burton knows a few things about success at that level. He himself won the youth cup playing for Arsenal in 1971, and he was involved as a youth coach in the education of players like Tony Adams, David Rocastle, Michael Thomas, Paul Merson and Martin Keown. More of those please!
It will be nice to see players like Serge Gnabry (huge German talent), Eisfeld, Jon Toral, and Hector Bellerin play in these competitions. I also heard that a certain Jack (what’s in a name) Jebb looks a big talent, but I think it might be a bit early for him to play on that level.
Published with permission from Untold Arsenal: Arsenal News. Supporting the Lord Wenger; coach of the decade.