Dartford's Princes Park showcases top international youth football
The Vanarama Conference club has been chosen to stage the Premier League International Cup Group C clash between Schalke and Benfica’s under 21’s at Princes Park.
The Premier League has launched the Premier League International Cup – a four-group tournament involving some of the top Premier League U21 and elite development teams from England and other European Leagues.
Premier League director of youth, Ged Roddy, said: “When we launched the Elite Player Performance Plan in 2012 we recognised that providing competitive opportunities for the 18-21 age group – against English and international opposition – was a key objective in order to prepare Academy players for Barclays Premier League football.
“Since then we are two seasons into a Barclays U21 Premier League that now sees each club play at least three matches at their main stadium, crowds in the thousands watching matches – including more than 10,000 at Norwich v Spurs – and several games broadcast live on Sky Sports and BT Sport.
“The Premier League International Cup will see some of the best young players in this country able to test themselves in competitive matches against some of the most talented young players in Europe.”
Tickets for Wednesday’s game, which kicks off at 19:00, are priced at £3 (adults) and £1 (concessions).
Dartford co-chairman Dave Skinner added: “This is another fantastic opportunity for our local community stadium to showcase some of the best international player development football.”
The international clubs taking part are: Athletic Club Bilbao, Benfica, Borussia Monchengladbach, Celtic, Schalke, Porto, PSV Eindhoven, and Villarreal. The full groups are as follows:
Group A: Chelsea, Norwich City, Porto, Borussia Monchengladbach
Group B: Fulham, West Ham United, Athletic Club Bilbao, PSV Eindhoven
Group C: Leicester City, Manchester City, Benfica, Schalke
Group D: Everton, Sunderland, Celtic, Villarreal
All matches will be organised by the Premier League and every game will be played in England.
Upon completion of the group stages, the winners and runners-up from each group will progress to the quarter-finals and semi-final and final, all to be played as single leg ties in England.
Meanwhile, Dartford were drawn away to Vanarama Conference South neighbours Bromley in The FA Cup First Round after the draw was made at St George’s Park in Burton this evening.
Visit Dartford’s website: www.dartfordfconline.com