Published: Sunday 22 February 2015, 13.49CET
With a busy season ahead, involving all 54 member associations, the most current round of UEFA improvement tournaments for Below-16 national sides are beneath way, starting in the Algarve.
Development tournament season under way

Action from the UEFA improvement tournament game in between Portugal and the Netherlands ©UEFA.com

The most current round of UEFA international development tournaments is under way, providing young male and female players across Europe the chance to showcase their talents and create their abilities.

All 54 national associations are involved in this batch of Below-16 mini-tournaments for boys, with the initial staged in the Algarve and featuring teams from Portugal, Germany, Spain and ‘hosts’ the Netherlands. Portugal then served as host for the first of the girls’ development tournaments, involving U16 teams from Germany, Scotland and Spain.

What they mentioned:

Jeroen Roest, tournament director, Algarve
Our goal is to make the teams feel freedom and the trust to do whatever they feel is very best for the improvement of their players each group develops in its own way. This is the third year in a row that the teams are truly happy with the organisation of the tournament and we see the regular of overall performance rise every year. We attempted to make the teams really feel at house, employing one particular stadium for all matches for the boys and girls and the hotels were situated really close to the education facilities.

Olivier Doglia, UEFA football development manager
By seeing the impressive quantity of national associations involved in this programme and by speaking with the national group coaches, we are delighted to see that we are reaching our main targets. We are complementing the elite youth player pathway across the national associations, providing more international encounter to young talented players and enabling them to better prepare for qualifying matches at U17 level next year.

The development tournaments also permit the coaches to supply players with important game time, as these events are organised with the emphasis on improvement rather than competition. Tailor-created presentations on match-fixing have been also introduced for this particular age category in order to reinforce UEFA’s policy on integrity in football.

What comes next?

Boys
Following the very first UEFA international improvement tournaments in the Algarve, Dublin and St George’s Park, the schedule for the remainder of the season is as follows for U16 tournaments:

Croatia (1-5 March) Serbia, Slovenia, Scotland
Gibraltar (28 March-1 April) San Marino, Malta, FYR Macedonia
Azerbaijan (ten-14 April) Greece, Georgia, Kazakhstan
Montenegro (12-16 April) Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Andorra
Romania (15-19 April) Hungary, Bulgaria, Moldova
Faroe Islands (17-21 April) Israel, Wales, Northern Ireland
Israel (26-30 April) Ukraine, Turkey, Poland
Belarus (26-30 April) Estonia, Lithuania, Sweden
Finland (27 April -1 May possibly) Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Latvia
Albania (1-five Could) Armenia, Montenegro, Cyprus
Portugal (eight-12 May) Belgium, Norway, Italy

Girls

After the season kick-off for international improvement tournaments in Portugal and the Republic of Ireland, the schedule for Women’s U16 tournaments is as follows:

Croatia (6-ten March) Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Montenegro (5-9 April) Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, FYR Macedonia
England (7-14 April) France, Switzerland, Sweden
Azerbaijan (15-19 April) Greece, Georgia, Kazakhstan
Romania (20-26 April) Slovakia, Bulgaria, Moldova, Hungary
Faroe Islands (22-26 April) Israel, Wales, Northern Ireland
Israel (1-5 May) Ukraine, Turkey, Poland
Belarus (1-five May) Estonia, Lithuania, Armenia
Finland (two-six Could) Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Latvia
Portugal (3-7 Could) Belgium, Norway, Italy

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