The competition celebrates and recognises all of the city’s rich footballing heritage including football’s first ever tournament; the Football Challenge Cup presented by Thomas Youdan Esq. which was played only once in 1867 at Bramall Lane.
A local theatre owner, Thomas Youdan, sponsored the competition and provided the trophy. The trophy itself was made of silver and although Thomas Youdan awarded a £2 prize to the winner of a competition to design the trophy, it was not completed in time to be presented on the day to the winners.
Day one of the U14 category kicked off with a double header Yorkshire derby between our very own Sheffield United and first timers in the tournament Doncaster Rovers that saw them come to an equal score of 0-0. Sheffield Wednesday however, claimed victory over Leeds United beating them 3-0.
New comers, GPS MA Elite Red Boys 2002 emerged on top scoring a massive 6-2 against Maiden City in the first set of U16 matches of the tournament.
Day two kicked off bright and early with a fantastic performance from returning champions Seattle Sounders scoring a magnificent 6 – 0 against newcomers Doncaster Rovers.
Sheffield United’s very own Co-Owner Kevin McCabe joined Jock Waugh, founder of the Youdan Trophy, to watch the day’s action. The U16 groups came to a strong close with returning team Wolves pulling it back with a 4 – 1 win against newcomers Leeds United.
Semi-finals day heated up in the U14 age group with a massive win for Charlton Athletic who beat Oman’s Al Habsi in a successful 6 – 0 defeat. Charlton faced more glory in the afternoon as they beat Canadian team ANB Futbol 3 – 0 ensuring safe passage to the final.
Reigning champions Seattle Sounders secured their place in the final with a close call win of 1 – 0 against Leeds United.
In the U16’s category Leeds United showed strong performances in their match against Doncaster Rovers as they pulled a great win with a 4 – 1 result. Sheffield’s own Blue and White also had success as they smashed in two goals against ANB Futbol as they held their own to gain a 2 – 0 win.
After a weekend of fierce competition from both our U14 group and U16 group we saw two teams come out on top – Seattle Sounders and Sheffield Wednesday.
Seattle Sounders retained their title by winning the U14’s final against Charlton Athletic, whilst a jubilant Owls U16’s enjoyed a 100 per cent winning record romped home with a 4-0 victory over Leeds United.
Driven by the success of the Youdan Trophy 2016, organisers decided to extend the number of teams from 32 to 40 and welcomed over 800 players to Sheffield to celebrate footballing history for the third year in a row.
As last year, 2017 welcomed two age categories, Under 14s and Under 16s with matches taking place at Warminster Road (U14) and Hallam Sports Park (U16).
Both Sheffield clubs were again competing across both age categories with United finishing runners up in the U14s losing 2-1 to Sunderland in the final.
Last year’s U16s winner from the US, Seattle Sounders, returned this year also bringing an u14 team with them that fought for the title in their category, losing only to the eventual winners of the tournament Sunderland in the semi-finals, but defeated surprise package Kawasaki Frontale in the third place play-off.
Their u16 counterparts successfully defended their trophy with an enthralling 4-2 penalty shoot-out in the final against Everton, in a game refereed by 2016 world’s best referee Mark Clattenburg, fresh from retiring from the Premier League. Last year’s runners up once again came up short finishing third after beating Charlton Athletic in the play-off.
Of the English clubs, more top level academies joined Youdan Trophy this year such as Manchester United, Newcastle United and Crystal Palace which, without doubt, made Youdan Trophy more attractive for the spectators. Another appealing side of the tournament was the diversity of the countries being represented by the clubs. Youdan Trophy 2017 hosted teams from the Middle East namely Omani side Al Habsi Football School and Al Dhafra, from the United Arab Emirates.
All the teams from abroad produced respectable performances but it was Japanese side Kawasaki Frontale that climbed up to the 4th place in the final position table, impressing fellow clubs and supporters.
It was also a first Youdan Trophy tournament for Canadian academy ANB Futbol who were drawn in a tough group including Sunderland FC.
In addition to the current U16 winners , another US team, Houston Dynamo, came to experience English weather and looked to replicated their rivals success by competing for the Youdan Trophy 2017 by bringing teams in both U14 and U16 age categories.
Overall, the tournament proved to be exciting, challenging and entertaining which ensured an enjoyable five days of football for both teams and spectators.
After a successful first ever Youdan Trophy in 2015, it was decided to increase the number of participants as well as introduce a second age category u16s for the 2016 edition. Thirty two teams arrived in Sheffield on the 31st July for another five day festival of football. Both Sheffield clubs were both again invited and brought both u14 and u16 teams, while Scottish Old Firm duo Celtic and Rangers also returned. The former bringing both age categories and the latter bringing their u14s only. Last year’s runners up Charlton Athletic were also back with two teams as were FAB Academy. There were also plenty of newcomers from across Britain, and expanding on the first year, there was an bigger international presence to the tournament with JHR from the Netherlands and Royal Antwerp from Belgium bringing both age groups, FC Basel from Switzerland, Rosenborg from Norway and Seattle Sounders from the USA bringing under 16 sides.
Last year’s beaten finalists Charlton Athletic u14s progressed through the group stages to defeat Celtic u14s 2-1 in the first semi final at Warminster Road. They were joined by Sheffield Wednesday in the final who beat JHR. The two Championship clubs contested the final and the London side were not to be beaten finalists two years in a row, and raced into a three goal lead in the first half. There was no way back for blue side of Sheffield and Charlton went on to win 3-0.
Over in the u16’s competition, FC Basel edged out Celtic 2-1 in another agonising exit for the Hoops late in the competition. Seattle Sounders, impressive throughout the group stage, overcame Wolves 3-1 in the other semi-final. The final was a tightly fought match with a goal from the tournament’s top scorer Azriel Gonzalez the difference between the two sides.
Eight Under 14 sides took part in the inaugural Youdan Trophy in 2015 with teams from across the world joining together to celebrate the resurrection of the world’s first football tournament. Held in Sheffield over five days, the competition saw both the city’s two major clubs, Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United take part along with London based teams Brentford and Charlton Athletic. Giving the trophy an international feel were Nerang Eagles from Australia. FAB Academy from Buckinghamshire and Scottish giants Celtic and Rangers completed the eight.
The group stages took place over the first three days with Celtic, Rangers, Charlton and Brentford all progressing through to the semi-finals. The Old Firm derby was up first, with Rangers edging a thrilling 2-1 contest. They were joined by Charlton Athletic who prevailed on penalties after an enticing 1-1 draw.
The final saw over 1000 spectators at Bramall Lane for the final day of action. Before the grand finale Brentford defeated Celtic to clinch third place, whilst the bottom four teams from the group stage had been battling it out for the Youdan Plate with FAB Academy the eventual winners.
The Youdan Trophy final was a five goal thriller and it was Rangers who eventually triumphed over Charlton Athletic winning the tie 3-2. One of the stars of the tournament, Celtic striker Karamoko Dembele, picked up the ‘Player of the Tournament’.