The annual FAW tournament that unearthed Ben Woodburn in 2013 is underway.
The 2017 Cymru Cup is being held in Connah’s Quay and gives 60 of the most talented young players, from the length and breadth of Wales, the chance to bid for selection for the next Wales U16 boys squad.
Liverpool youngster Woodburn turned out for the Regional Boys at Dragon Park in 2013, before starring in Wales’ victorious Victory Shield squad the following year.
Now the boys, all born in 2003, who have been selected to represent the Regional, North Wales and South Wales are hoping to follow in his footsteps and earn selection to the national U16 squad.
But alongside the group of young hopefuls bidding to start their international football journey, some of the brightest coaches in the FAW system will use the Cymru Cup to showcase the ‘Welsh Way’ of playing, launched in the National Syllabus in May.
Some of the most experienced coach educators in Wales will spend the two days mentoring the coaches and mentors of the future and some of the Welsh Premier League Academy coaches will take part too.
Also the development of the FAW workforce is strengthened at the Cymru Cup as the scouting network, analysts, administration and medical staff are all developed.
FAW Trust Technical Director Osian Roberts said: “Firstly this is a wonderful opportunity for these 60 young players to express their talents.
“We have to sustain the success at senior level and replicate the excitement of last summer. These boys are a major part of the future of Welsh football.”
Roberts, who combines his role as assistant manager of the national team with coaching the Wales U16 team, will be looking for the best emerging talent, ahead of the next U16 squad selection, will also be discussing the top talent with national men’s coach Chris Coleman.
Intermediate manager Rob Page and his assistant Paul Bodin will also spend two days analysing the talent on show in Connah’s Quay.
Roberts said: “As well as developing the next generation and the team behind the team, this is a great opportunity to showcase the work we do in North Wales.”
Three squads of 20 players have been selected to contest the 2017 Cymru Cup.
They will represent North Wales, South Wales and Regional Boys, a combined team of players from the north, south and Welsh qualified players currently playing outside Wales.
Each team will play two matches, in round-robin format, across Tuesday, July 25, and Wednesday, July 26.
The competition is being held at Connah’s Quay 3G, Connah’s Quay High School, Golftyn Lane, Connah’s Quay, Deeside. If you have satnav, the post code is CF54BH.
The fixtures and kick-off times are as follows:
Tuesday, July 25, 4.00pm: North Wales v South Wales
Wednesday, July 26, 10.30am: Regional Boys v South Wales
Wednesday, July 26, 4.00pm: Regional Boys v North Wales