England to withdraw from the Victory Shield

Tuesday 21 Apr 2015
The Sky Sports Victory Shield

Following a review of England development teams, The FA has decided to withdraw from the Victory Shield for the foreseeable future. 

The move ensures consistency with a key element of the England DNA document which outlines the need for young players to be exposed to a comprehensive and varied games programme as early as possible in their international career.

The Victory Shield pitted England against the Home Nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland but there is now fresh emphasis on the need for young Three Lions to face European and world opposition to further aid their development as an international footballer.


England U16s line up to take on Northern Ireland in November 2014

Explaining the decision, Gareth Southgate, The FA’s Head of National Teams at St. George’s Park, said: “We are reviewing our fixture programme at all ages and it is important that with England we are able to give players an International experience that compliments their club development and attempts to expose them to something different. 

“At U16 level we may only have the boys for between 10 to 15 matches per season. 

"Within that programme, it's important to prioritise exposing them to European and World opposition. 

“We are intent on maximising the football learning of our young players”

Gareth Southgate 

He continued: "We feel that within their club programmes, they face many of the boys that they would face in the Victory Shield and so these fixtures, whilst competitive and exciting, do not expose our boys to different playing cultures. 

“Although we recognise the historic interest in these matches, we are intent on maximising the football learning of our young players, while forming the programme of fixtures for the year around the crucial academic commitments our players face at this age group.

"We also feel that due to the changes in format, uncertainty around the Victory Shield and the potential changes suggested by Sky, it is a good time to review our fixtures and make an early decision so everyone can plan their 2015-16 fixtures with certainty.”

By FA Staff