NextGen Series

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NextGen Series
NextGen Series logo.png
Founded 2011
Abolished 2013
Number of teams 24 (group stage)
12 (knockout)
Last champions England Aston Villa
Television broadcasters Eurosport

The NextGen Series was a European football club cup competition for under-19 footballers. It was designed to provide players with the opportunity to match themselves against other elite European footballers of their age group in a competitive environment. The competition was created by sports TV producer Justin Andrews and current Brentford Manager Mark Warburton.[1]

On 16 August 2013, organizers confirmed that youth football’s NextGen Series has been suspended for the 2013–14 campaign because of funding issues,[2][3] and lacking of competitive space since the creation of UEFA Youth League.


Plans to create a European competition for youth footballers have long been touted. Ajax and Manchester City played a behind closed doors match in November 2010 as did Liverpool and Celtic. This was part of a trial scheme for the new competition.[4]

The goal of the tournament was to help clubs replicate the Champions League experience for younger players. Celtic youth coach, Chris McCart said;[5]

Our purpose is to try and develop a Champions League player and it will expose them to that and replicate what that’s like at first-team level. We are confident the players will gain experience which will be vital to them in terms of the style of play and the travelling. We can also offer players the opportunity of playing against the likes of Barcelona and Man City on the big stage and in stadia.

The success of the competition caught the atentio of the UEFA board, and in the end of 2012 UEFA Youth League was designed, with the same aims and targets then NextGen. British media commented that the competition was formed to "limit the growing influence of the NextGen Series".[6]


Teams were picked for the first season of the tournament through invitation. The organisers selected 16 clubs, influenced by the quality of each club’s academy.[7] The clubs picked for the 2011–12 competition were:[8]

All of the 16 clubs who participated at 2011–12 tournament, apart from Basel, took part in 2012–13 and were joined by 9 new entrants:[8]


For the 2011–12 tournament, the 16 teams were split into four groups of four, playing each other home and away. The top two teams from each group went through to a knockout stage. The Quarter Finals were played over one leg at the home ground of the group winners. The Final was played at Leyton Orient's Matchroom Stadium on Sunday 25 March with an attendance of 3,500.


The NextGen Series trophy was designed to celebrate and embody the pursuit of excellence in youth development and the future of football. The trophy was manufactured by UK-based awards manufacturer Gaudio and will be handed out each year to the tournament winner.[10]


Team participating in the NextGen series are limited to a squad size of no more than eighteen members. There is an age limit of 18 on players participating in the competition. However, each club has the option of having three players who are one year older than this, although only a maximum of two of them are allowed to be on the pitch at any one time.[11]

Match rules for the series, other than the age cap, are the same as those stipulated by the International Football Association Board, meaning that they are identical to those of most other international tournaments.[11]


Years Final stage host Winners Score Runners-up Third place Score Fourth place
England London Italy
(5–3 pen.)
2–0 France
Italy Como England
Aston Villa
2–0 England
Sporting CP
3–1 England


Club Winner Runner-up Years won Years runner-up
Italy Internazionale
England Aston Villa
Netherlands Ajax
England Chelsea


  1. ^ Jones, Simon (30 June 2011). "Young Villa face Ajax, Man City tackle Barcelona, Spurs take on Inter and Liverpool play Sporting in Euro League". Daily Mail (London). 
  2. ^ NextGen series cancelled amid funding shortage
  3. ^ NextGen Statement - 16 August 2013
  4. ^ "City help to pioneer junior Champions League". Manchester Evening News. 7 December 2010. Retrieved 22 June 2011. 
  5. ^ Jones, Simon (22 June 2011). "Q&A: You lowdown on the NextGen Series for the best kids in European football". London: Daily Mail. Retrieved 22 June 2011. 
  6. ^ "UEFA to launch U19 shadow Champions League from 2013 to curtail NextGen series". Daily Mail (London). 30 June 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  7. ^ Jones, Simon (22 June 2011). "EXCLUSIVE: Now the top kids in Europe get a Champions League of their own". Daily Mail (London). 
  8. ^ a b "Juventus complete NextGen Series lineup as groups are revealed". NextGen. 4 June 2012. 
  9. ^ "Juventus Primavera involved in NextGen Series". 4 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "Gaudio Awards". Gaudio Awards. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Terms & Conditions". The NextGen Series. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 

External links[edit]