The growing reputation of a Sheffield-based football tournament that brings the stars of the future to the city is developing into a year-round sports business.
Youdan Trophy organisers have had so much interest from other clubs around the globe wanting to benefit from their knowledge and expertise, they have formed Youdan Trophy Tours to provide a service they believe is unparalled within the industry.
And they welcomed 24 players from Iceland’s FC Grindavik to the city.
The under 18s team were treated to a week-long football experience which included games against Sheffield United U18s and Robbie Fowler’s Liverpool U18s Academy.
They also had tea with the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Coun Anne Murphy, a tour of Anfield and a shopping trip to Meadowhall.
FC Grindavik lost 5-0 to United U18s but still left with their heads held high after they beat Liverpool 2-1.
Youdan Trophy Tours are currently hosting a visit by an under 16s girls team from Jiangsu in China.
China’s President Xi Jinping has set his sights on having a world class female team by 2030 and this week’s event – which is being run in conjunction with Suman Education International and the Jiangsu Education Department – is offering the young players some of football’s foremost sporting and technical expertise.
Dean Mohareb, Youdan Trophy tournament director, said: “The Trophy helps publicise Sheffield’s unique place in the world as the home of football.
“Overseas clubs want to experience the game in its spiritual home and benefit from the wealth of experience we have.” Tosh Farrell, former head of international football development at Everton who coach Wayne Rooney, is helping deliver the programme for Youdan Trophy Tours.
Sheffield-based You-Are-The-Ref.com are behind the creation of the Youdan Trophy.
* In October 2016 the Government’s Intellectual Property Office granted permission for the Youdan Trophy’s organisers to register the competition’s name as a trademark. The application was opposed by Hallam FC. The club says there is no link between the event and the original tournament held in 1867, and has lodged an appeal against last year’s decision. A new ruling has yet to be made.