Next Gen now off then…

Vaze makes a good point, one that I totally agree with.
This stinks worse than a bag of smelly socks, imo;

…a frustrating time for Villa fans in particular at the moment, with a now disappointing start to the season being compounded with what looks to be a season ending injury to a promising young player in Okore.

Following on from the blow that we suffered in having Gary Gardner out for a similar period, it’s true to say that we haven’t had much luck with the younger players coming through.

Which leads me nicely to the point of this post.

You may have heard of the Next Gen series last season, we won it !

Next Gen was a private initiative, and the company approached the leading football club academies in Europe to gauge interest. I believe that they had to have at least the FIFA elite status.

Twenty four elite academies entered, and the series ran for a couple of seasons.

Now we should have known that UEFA would want their snouts in the trough when it comes to footballing competitions, and the fact that it was gaining in popularity and had a reasonable television following attracted their attention.

The new format is for the U19 sides affiliated to senior clubs that participate and qualify for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League to play their fixtures alongside that of the senior sides throughout the group stage.

Call me cynical, (am I joining the band of grumpy old men on here ?) but surely this is a knee jerk reaction from UEFA to limit the influence of Next Gen which had the aim of providing competitive football to the leading football academies.

This new format does not take the standards of youth development at senior Champions League sides into the equation, it is a guaranteed place merited on the performance of the senior side qualifying for group place.

This does nothing whatsoever to enhance the competitiveness of European football, it’s a lazy (at best) way of setting up a competitor to Next Gen. At worst, it’s the clubs feeding at the top table wanting to ensure that only their talented youngsters get experience at the highest club level.

Whatever, they can’t take out trophy away !

What are your thoughts ?

One Comment

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  1. Foxy September 18, 2013 at 9:37 am . Reply

    Difficult one this. Maybe the top two or three U19 teams from qualifiers and then group games in each country should compete to make it completely fair. The Next Gen series omitted lots of clubs, and the UEFA one omits others. So really neither was a proper competition to start with.

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