NextGen Series

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NextGen Series
Abolished2013; 11 years ago (2013)
Number of teams24 (group stage)
12 (knockout)
Last championsEngland Aston Villa
Most successful club(s)Italy Internazionale
England Aston Villa
(1 title each)
Television broadcastersEurosport

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 agegroup in a competitive environment. The competition was created by sports TV producer Justin Andrews, Mark Warburton and current Brentford F.C. owner Matthew Benham.[1]

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


Plans to create a European competition for youth footballers had long been explored. 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.


The success of the NextGen Series caught the attention of the UEFA board and at end of 2012, the UEFA Youth League was created. A compromise deal was tabled by Andrews and Warburton, with the aim of combining the two tournaments and giving places to non-Champions League clubs with notable academies, but the proposal was rejected by UEFA.[1] Another proposal, to run both leagues in tandem (with the winners meeting in the final), was also rejected.[1]


Teams were picked for the first season of the tournament through invitation. The organisers selected 16 clubs. The clubs picked for the 2011–12 tournament were:[5]

15 clubs who participated at 2011–12 tournament (with the exception of Basel) took part in 2012–13 and were joined by 9 new entrants:[5]


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 the Matchroom Stadium in London on Sunday 25 March 2012, with an attendance of 3,500.[7] The 2013 Final was held at the Stadio Giuseppe Sinigaglia in Como, Italy on 1 April 2013.[8]


The NextGen Series trophy was manufactured by UK-based awards manufacturer Gaudio and was handed to the tournament winners.[9]


The teams participating in the NextGen series were limited to a squad size of no more than eighteen players. There was an age limit of 18 on players participating in the competition. However, each club had the option of including three players up to the age of 19, though only a maximum of two overage players were allowed to be on the pitch at any one time.[10]

Match rules for the series, other than the age cap, were the same as those stipulated by the International Football Association Board, meaning that they were identical to those of most other international tournaments.[10]


Ed. Years Host
Winners Score Runners-up Third place Score Fourth place No.
2011–12 London Italy
(5–3 p)
2–0 France
2012–13 Como England
Aston Villa
2–0 England
Sporting CP
3–1 England


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


  1. ^ a b c The brilliant youth football idea that Uefa took on and killed, Ian Herbert, The Independent, 3 November 2014
  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. ^ a b "Juventus complete NextGen Series lineup as groups are revealed". NextGen. 4 June 2012. Archived from the original on 6 June 2012.
  6. ^ "Juventus Primavera involved in NextGen Series". 4 June 2012.
  7. ^ "NextGen final at Brisbane Road".
  8. ^ "Chelsea 0-2 Aston Villa | NextGen Series final match report". April 2013.
  9. ^ "Gaudio Awards". Gaudio Awards. Retrieved 14 September 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Terms & Conditions". The NextGen Series. Archived from the original on 14 September 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2011.