Élite youth football and the next phase of its development is the theme of the 8th UEFA Youth Conference, which takes place in Cyprus from Tuesday to Thursday.
European football's governing body and experts from the youth football sector will examine an area vital to the game's wellbeing. UEFA's youth competitions not only give young players a chance to test themselves against counterparts from other countries, but are also seen as an important development stage for the stars of tomorrow. Indeed, many of today's top players first attracted attention at UEFA youth tournaments. UEFA organises European championships at Under-19 and U17 levels, as well as a women's U19 competition.
The topics that are being scheduled for discussion at the conference include UEFA's commitment to youth football over the past decade, a review of the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship, and youth development systems within several European national football associations, as well as a look at how youth footballers are nurtured in Japan. The agenda includes practical and theoretical work, along with discussion groups.
The youth conference will be preceded by a UEFA forum for élite club youth coaches, which will cover topics such as the major problems confronting youth development today, how UEFA's club licensing system affects youth development programmes and the issue of locally trained players.
UEFA's Youth and Amateur Football Committee meets on 28 November, and the Cyprus week will also include two draws – the élite round of the 2005/06 youth championships on 30 November, and the 2006/07 youth championship qualifying competitions the following day.
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