The Next Generation Mumbai Cup featuring Under-14 sides of Premier League giants Chelsea FC, Manchester United FC and Southampton FC and the Under-15 teams of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) clubs Bengaluru FC and FC Goa, and the Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC) academy gets underway at the Reliance Corporate Park, Navi Mumbai, on Monday, February 24. The five-day-long competition is part of the second edition of the Youth Games organised by the Premier League and the Hero ISL.
This will be the first time that youth teams of Manchester United, Southampton and Chelsea will travel to India. This, however, won’t be Indian youth players’ first opportunity to test themselves against top quality Premier League teams. Last year’s edition, coined as the PL and Hero ISL Youth Games 2019, saw Under-14 teams from Arsenal and Leicester City take part.
As part of the six-year long relationship between the Premier League and the Hero ISL, promising youngsters honing their skills at the RFYC academy, too, have embarked on several exposure trips to England, visiting and training at youth academies of clubs like Southampton, Aston Villa, Manchester City, Leicester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and others, thereby enriching their footballing knowledge and technical skills.
The Next Generation Mumbai Cup tournament takes place during a week of activities dedicated to youth player development as part of the Premier League’s ongoing partnership with the Hero ISL. Besides the six-team tournament, representatives from the Premier League, Chelsea FC, Manchester United FC and Southampton FC will work with 75 Hero ISL coaches, local coaches and referees from across India to lead workshops, offer training and run development forums. The week will also provide cultural and educational experiences for the 108 young players involved. This tournament and accompanying events are just some of the many ways the two leagues are working together for the betterment of youth football in India.
Premier League legend and ambassador Alan Shearer, Bollywood star and Premier League ambassador Ranveer Singh will meet and support the players during the event. Mrs. Nita Ambani, Chairperson Reliance Foundation and FSDL and Premier League CEO Richard Masters, will attend the final day event on February 28.