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The FA Youth Cup is an English football competition for under-18 sides in England and Wales. Teams from the Premier League U18 North & South, EFL Youth Alliance North East, North West, North East, South East and Professional Development U18 North & South take part in this competition. But overall, there are 400 entries across the country. 

Players between the age of 15 and 18 on 31st August of the current season are allowed to take part in this tournament.

This knockout tournament gives U18 footballers the relevant experience and to help improve the development of each player.

The FA Youth Cup was first launched in 1952, following the success of The FA County Youth Cup which was first set up in 1945. 

Sir Joe Richards, late president of the Football League was responsible of the initial idea of The FA Youth Cup. He shared his idea to the league clubs but they were not satisfied with the idea. Richards then proposed his idea to the Football Association, they liked his idea and the youth competition was created in 1952.

Manchester United are currently the most successful team to have won The FA Youth Cup a record 11 times. They are also the current defending champions after defeating Nottingham Forest 3 – 1 in the 2021-22 FA Youth Cup edition. 

This youth competition is such a prestigious cup tournament for between 15 to 18-year-olds to take part in. This tournament serves as a springboard to set these young talented footballers into the professional game as they grow older and show more maturity in their footballing careers. Many ex-British footballers have benefitted a lot playing in this competition. The likes of George Best, John Barnes, Manchester United’s Class of 92’ Ryan Giggs, David Beckham and Gary Neville. Frank Lampard, Michael Owen, Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Joe Cole, Wayne Rooney and Jack Wilshere.

Current professional footballers Mason Mount, Reece James, Jadon Sancho, Cole Palmer, Marc Guehi, Callum Hudson Odoi, Tariq Lamptey and many others. Have all taken part in this youth competition, which has helped them transition nicely from youth football into playing proper men’s football week in and out.

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