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Man City academy chief excited about proposed youth tournament

Manchester City youth academy chief Mark Allen believes the proposed U19 youth tournament will be great for the development of his players.

A 16-team competition, which will see academies from across Europe compete against each other, would be a great thing for the young, up and coming stars of the future according to Allen.

"The average age for a Premier League debut is becoming older, 21 or 22 when before it might have been 17 or 18," he told the club's official website.

"You have to bridge that gap and prepare them for a better standard of football.

"We'll be competing against the best in Europe, a la the Champions League format, and we see it as an important chapter in the development of Manchester City.

"It's the next stepping stone, so as they come through the academy system there is the platform for them to be playing football at a level that is commensurate with their development.

"It will prepare them for those balmy nights we'll hopefully have in the Champions League as the club moves forward.

"We want to prepare them for what they will encounter as fully fledged professionals.

"Who knows, we might be seeing the new Lionel Messi on a Thursday night at Hyde."

The NextGen tournament will see City, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Tottenham from England join Scotland's Celtic, and other clubs including Barcelona, Inter Milan and Sporting Lisbon.

 It's kicking off again! Click here for your No1 source for Manchester City transfer market news and gossip.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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