The annual Tournoi Européen des Centres U21 competition is just around the corner and as the organisers mark their 20th anniversary, they have managed to secure the involvement of Paris SG for the first time in the event’s history.
Whilst the PSG senior team narrowly lost the Ligue 1 title to Monaco last season, their youth side is packed with talent, including youngsters such as the French U19 youth international Moussa Diaby, who scored 3 goals in the UEFA Youth League last season.
This tournament has been at the forefront of the pre-season schedules for Brittany-based professional sides since its inception and in recent years, teams from further afield from other regions of France have also taken part, together with foreign teams from Belgium and England. All three of these nations have enjoyed considerable success on the international youth stage in recent years, with England crowned champions of the U20 World Cup earlier this summer, following in the footsteps of France, who were World Champions four years previously.
Tournoi Européen des Centres U21 has been a hub for scouting talented youngsters for several years now. When you can name a 5-a-side team of previous participants made up of Mandanda, Varane, Mahrez, Sane and Ousmane Dembélé, you appreciate the quality of emerging talents that can come out of this weekend in Ploufragan.
More recently for England, two of this year’s U20 World Cup winners, Joshua Onomah and Kyle Walker-Peters, featured for Tottenham Hotspur at the tournament back in 2014.
Stade Rennais are one of the locally-based professional teams who prepare their young players for the new season at the competition and are the current holders. This was due to a narrow 1-0 victory over Leicester City in the final last year, courtesy of a goal by Antoine Hequet.
The competition is held at Centre Henri Guerin, which is one of twelve regional elite centres, overseen by the FFF, which is tasked with developing the best local talent in the region for the benefit of French national teams, at all levels.
This year’s tournament will begin on Friday 28th July and will run through the weekend, with the final taking place on Sunday 30th July. As in previous years, eight teams will be taking part:
· Paris SG
· Standard de Liège
· Tottenham Hotspur
· Leicester City
On Friday and Saturday, six matches will take place, starting at 10:00am. The teams are split into four groups and following the conclusion of the group fixtures on Saturday, each team will play a further game on Sunday against the team which finished in the same position as them in the other group.
This means the winners of each group will face each other in the final, which will kick off at 15:00 local time.
The full fixture schedule is as follows:
Friday 28th July
Saturday 29th July
Sunday 30th July
10:00: Leicester City vs SM Caen
11:05: Standard de Liège vs Stade Brestois
12:20: Paris St-Germain vs Tottenham
16:00: EA Guingamp vs FC Lorient
17:15: Stade Brestois vs SM Caen
18:30: Leicester City vs Standard de Liège
10:00: Paris St-Germain vs FC Lorient
11:05: Tottenham vs EA Guingamp
12:20: Leicester City vs Stade Brestois
16:00: Standard de Liège vs SM Caen
17:15: Tottenham vs FC Lorient
18:30: EA Guingamp vs Paris St-Germain
10:40: 4th Place Group A vs 4th Place Group B
12:15: 3rd Place Group A vs 3rd Place Group B
13:45: 2nd Place Group A vs 2nd Place Group B
From Scout7’s perspective, we are delighted to have a continued role in helping the organisation of the event in terms of managing all the competition’s scouting accreditation, as we do at the Toulon Festival. We will also be publishing the squad details and all match line-ups in the Intelligent Sports Framework (ISF), as well as providing teamsheets to the scouts on site.
If you are working at a club and would like to join us by requesting official accreditation for Tournoi Européen des Centres U21, please email us at email@example.com and we will send you an application form.
We look forward to seeing you there!