Draw for the groups Saturday 10 April at 10am UK time.
[NEW UPDATE: BRUGGE REPLACE VILLARREAL]
08 teams registered for this season’s tournament.
Which is a perfect number for
812 seeded groups of 54 teams each playing each other home and away ( 86 fixtures for each team in the group stage), with fourthe top two teams in each group qualifying for the seeded Youth Cup knockout stage, and the bottom two going into the Youth Shield knockout rounds.
The Cup knockout stages will comprise an initial qualifying Round 1 of 16 (byes for the winners of Groups A to H), Round 2 of 16, Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals, and Final, all over two legs.
The 8 losers in the qualifying round will go into the Youth Shield.
The Youth Shield will start with an initial qualifying round featuring the 12 third placed teams from the group stage, plus the 4 best (highest points total) last placed teams. The 8 winners will take on the 8 losers from Round 1 of the Youth Cup, and in the same format as the Youth Cup – R2, QFs, SFs, Final.
If every round is over two legs, that’s ten matches for the finalists, on top of the six group games. Sixteen Saturdays in total.
So we need to start the group games on Saturday 24 April, concluding on 29 May.
The knockout games will play on 5 and 12 June (Round 1), 19 and 26 June (Round 2), 3 and 10 July (QFs), 17 and 24 July (SFs), and 31 July and 7 August (Finals).
If we can start on 17 April, we have 17 available Saturday fixtures for the knockout stages for both the Youth Cup (five rounds, nine games in total for the finalists), and the Youth Shield (four rounds, featuring the 16 losers from the Youth Cup Round of 32, nine games – including one from the Youth Cup – in total for the finalists). So 8 rounds of Group games starting 17 April and concluding on 5 June, followed by a one-legged Round of 32 (12 June), then two-legged Round of 16 (19 and 26 June), Quarter-Finals (3 and 10 July), Semi-Finals (17 and 24 July) and Finals (31 July and 7 August).
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Please check your average team rating – I checked and changed a few which seemed to be wrong, but maybe there’s a reason for that which I’m unaware of. If you think I’ve got it wrong, please let me know asap in the comments or via PM in-game, as I want to do the draw by the weekend.
Players who were 21 or under at 31 March 2021 are eligible to play, as are players who turned 22 on or after 1 April 2021.
Managers who fail to arrange fixtures or who play ineligible players will forfeit the match 3-0.
Prizes of exclusive choice of one new free agent added to the database in September 2021 will be awarded to the winners of the Youth Cup and Shield, as well as to one manager randomly drawn from the rest, and who has not forfeited any matches.