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 that much interest from other clubs around the globe wanting to benefit from their knowledge and expertise, they’ve formed Youdan Tours to provide a service they believe is unparalled within the industry.
A few days ago 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, Councillor Anne Murphy, a tour of Anfield and a shopping trip to Meadowhall.
Dean Mohareb, Youdan Trophy tournament director, said: “The Youdan Trophy – which celebrates the oldest tournament in the world – 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.”
There’s no doubt FC Grindavik will remember football in the city – they lost 5-nil to Sheffield United U18s. But they still left with their heads held high after they beat Liverpool two goals to one.
Youdan Tours are currently hosting a visit by an under 16s girls team from Jiangsu in China. China’s President Xi Jinping has already 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.
Tosh Farrell, former head of international football development at Everton and the man that helped coach Wayne Rooney to greatness, is helping deliver the programme for Youdan Tours.
Sheffield-based You-Are-The-Ref.com, which is the world's leading independent authority and education platform for match officials, are behind the creation of the Youdan Trophy which celebrates football’s first ever tournament; the Football Challenge Cup presented by Thomas Youdan Esq. which was played only once in 1867 at Bramall Lane.
You can also follow the Youdan Trophy on Twitter (@YoudanTrophy), Instagram (@YoudanTrophy) and Facebook (@YoudanTrophy).
The ‘not for profit’ Youdan Trophy recently launched a ‘Just Giving’ page to help fund its future development. Donations can be made at: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/youdan