800-plus players from around the world set for Sheffield’s booming Youdan Trophy

Ken Doherty (left) and John Parrott  with the Youdan Trophy at the 2017 draw  in the WInter Gardens, Sheffield
Ken Doherty (left) and John Parrott with the Youdan Trophy at the 2017 draw in the WInter Gardens, Sheffield
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More than 800 players from some of the world’s biggest clubs, will compete in this year’s Youdan Trophy competition, which has quadrupled in size since it’s inaugural event in 2015.

The tournament will be played from Monday, July 31 to Friday August 4 with Under-16 Group games at Sheffield Hallam University Sports Park and U14 matches at the University of Sheffield’s Warminster Road grounds.

The draw was made by snooker stars Ken Doherty and John Parrott in Sheffield’s Winter Gardens and was beamed across the world.

Representatives from Manchester United to Houston Dynamo, Newcastle United to FC Basel and Everton to Kawaski Frontale are lining up against quality opposition from as far afield as Iran and South Africa plus teams from Sheffield’s big two clubs, Wednesday and United.

Group A of the U14s is set to see a repeat of last year’s final with Charlton taking on Sheffield Wednesday.

Manchester United – making their tournament debut - will play Seattle Sounders in Group C of the U14s – the American team that lifted the U16s trophy last year.

Seattle won’t have it easy in the U16s tournament though – they play the team they beat in last year’s semis, Wolves. Their Group C also contains Celtic, semi-finalist in 2016.

Keith Hackett, director of tournament organisers You-Are-The-Ref.com said: “The line-up for the 2017 tournament has exceeded all expectations – we’re absolutely thrilled with it.

“The Youdan Trophy is developing into the biggest and most prestigious tournament of its kind in the whole of Europe and we’re confident it will become a globally recognizable Sheffield brand in the coming months and years.

“The competition is unique in the UK – that is why it is proving so popular. It is bringing together some of the best academy teams at Under-16 and Under -14 level from professional clubs around the world to compete at the highest level. Sheffield’s Youdan Trophy is becoming known as the place to see the sporting stars of tomorrow.”

* The draw - U14 Group A: Birmingham City, Charlton Ath, Sheff Wed, Kawasaki Frontale, Houston Dynamo. Group B: ANB Futbol, Sunderland, Watford, Derby, Rangers. Group C: Maiden City, Seattle Sounders, Man Utd, Crystal Pal, Nottingham For. Group D: Sheff Utd, Celtic, Supersport, Everton, Al Habsi.

U16 Group A: Everton, Houston Dynamo, Derby County, Maiden City, Blackburn Rov. Group B: Newcastle Utd, FC Basel, Sheff Wed, Accrington Stan, Crystal Pal. Group C: Celtic, Seattle Sounders, Wolves, JHR Rotterdam, Queens Park Rangers. Group D: Stoke City, Al Dhafra, Sheff Utd, FAB Academy, Charlton Ath.

* The Trophy is supported by Marketing Sheffield, University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University, The Children’s Hospital Charity, Roundabout and The Star.