Little footballers in the finals of Europe’s biggest tournament
Sixty-four boy and girl teams from all provinces play in the nationwide finals of the tournament “From the Backyard to the Stadium for the Tymbark Cup,” now in its 19th edition. This is the largest children’s football tournament in Europe. Past competitors include Arkadiusz Milik and Krzysztof Piątek, the stars of Italy’s Serie A and Poland’s national team.
The playoffs started at the local level in October, with 97% of districts qualifying. In a few months’ time, thousands of matches took place, with nearly 15,000 goals scored. In early April, provincial finals began, which selected the regional champions in the U-8 boy and girl category. Besides the provincial titles, the U-10 and U-12 categories also qualified for the finals in Warsaw. On 2 May, eight best teams will have the honour to appear on PGE Narodowy, Poland’s national stadium. There are only three ways of getting there: playing for the Polish senior national team, in Poland’s Cup final or in the tournament “From the Backyard to the Stadium for the Tymbark Cup.” The winners of the final matches will receive tickets for a Euro 2020 qualifier, when Poland will take on Israel. The young players will also meet members of Jerzy Brzęczek’s national squad.
From the backyard to the team
For little footballers, playing in the Tymbark Cup is a lifetime chance: it’s a ticket to the world of professional football. On Thursday, they will be watched by coaches of the youth national teams and scouts from the Polish Football Association (PZPN), with PZPN President Zbigniew Boniek and the coach Jerzy Brzęczek among them. The best of Poland’s referees will officiate: Szymon Marciniak, Paweł Raczkowski, Zbigniew Dobrynin and Monika Mularczyk. The finals will be broadcast live on TV, with such household names as the commentators Mateusz Borek and Tomasz Smokowski.
“The way from a backyard to a stadium leads through this Tournament. It’s a big chance for the most talented boys and girls to fulfil their dreams of playing at the PGE Narodowy Stadium. Each year emotions fly high and we have good fun, while the Tournament is getting increasingly popular and better in terms of footballing quality. Boy and girl players can see what’s big football like today and how they can get there. We know the cases of gifted players who once played in the tournament ‘From the Backyard to the Stadium for the Tymbark Cup’ and today are scoring goals for the Polish national team and top European clubs,” said Zbigniew Boniek, PZPN President.
More than 50 Tournament competitors have so far found their way to the Polish national team in various age categories, including Arkadiusz Milik, Krzysztof Piątek, Piotr Zieliński, Tomasz Kędziora, Bartosz Bereszyński, Damian Kądzior, Marcin Kamiński and Paulina Dudek, Poland’s all-time most expensive female footballer. The Tymbark Cup stands for intense emotions for the fans, too. In the past two years, the finals had an average audience of over 100,000 viewers!
With special thanks to
The Tournament is organised by the Polish Football Association. For 13 years, its lead sponsor has been Tymbark, with Electrolux as a bronze sponsor in the past two editions. The 19th edition is under the honorary patronage of President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda, and is supported by Honorary Committee, which brings together the patronage of the Ministry of National Education, the Ministry of Sport and Tourism, and the Ministry of Health.