The NextGen Series, the exciting European competition showcasing football’s finest young stars, has today confirmed one of the most successful teams in Spanish football, Athletic Club, as the next club signing up to the tournament for the next three years.
Athletic Club becomes the fifth side, along with Olympiacos, Chelsea FC, PSG and Arsenal to sign up to next season’s NextGen Series as the competition expands from 16 to 24 clubs. Los Leones become the second Spanish League’s team in the competition alongside Barcelona, joining some of Europe’s most elite teams, including Chelsea, Ajax, Inter Milan and Arsenal.
The tournament has proven to be a huge success in its first year, providing Europe’s finest youth talent with a solid platform on which to hone their skills in a competitive international environment.
Commenting on Athletic’s participation in next season’s NextGen Series, Justin Andrews, the tournament’s co-founder said: “Athletic Club have a unique recruitment ethos at academy level, showing fantastic loyalty to their homegrown talent. They are highly reputable in the Spanish youth system and we are honoured to have a club with such history involved in the NextGen Series tournament.”
Athletic Club Academy Director, Jose Mari Amorrortu, said: “ The participation in the NextGen Series is an incredible opportunity both for the club and our players to compete against the best football teams in Europe, as well as enjoy a vibrant experience that will ultimately lead to an improvement in the development of our kids.”
The winners of the inaugural NextGen Series were Internazionale Milano, beating AFC Ajax on penalties in the final played at London’s Leyton Orient on March 25th 2012.