New tournament for next generation

Spalding United are inviting the rest of the EVO-STIK League's clubs to test their next generation of stars against Football League and Premier League opposition by entering a new youth tournament they are hosting at the end of the season.

At least 14 English Football League clubs, as well as a number from the Premier League expected to confirm their berths in the coming days, are already sending sides from U7s to U12s to the Sir Halley Stewart Ground home of the EVO-STIK League South club in May to compete for the inaugural Tulip Trophy.

Announced on Monday and backed by the Lincolnshire FA, the two day six-a-side tournament for academy and elite development sides on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 May is being coordinated by Tulips U21s development manager Lewis Thorogood who launched and runs the successful Pilgrim Cup.

According to Thorogood, who is seeking businesses and patrons to support the event, the action in south Lincolnshire will even be streamed live through a private YouTube channel for the parents and families of players who can't be among the 1,000 plus crowds expected to attend.

He said: "It gives me great pleasure to host this event as part of Spalding United. Following my creation and successful hosting of the ever popular Pilgrim Cup event, I aim to bring the same high standard of quality youth academy football to be showcased here in Spalding as well as raising funds and the profile of the Tulips, a developing and progressive club with big plans and indeed to promote the town of Spalding as a whole!

"The board, volunteers and first team manager have been fully supportive of this event and it’s seen as a great event to close the 2017-18 season for Spalding United. We will announce a full list of clubs attending very soon.

"I am also lucky to be joined by existing and former colleagues who ran the Pilgrim Cup with me over the years so be assured this will be a great weekend and one I hope the whole town and supporters of Spalding United can get behind and indeed come out to support to see the future talent of English academy football."

As part of an early bird offer, entry per team is priced at £35 if booked before 5pm on Friday 9 March and £45 thereafter. For more information on the event and sponsorship opportunities, contact Thorogood via email at, visit the official Tulips website or follow the club on Twitter and Facebook.

Image courtesy of & @SpaldingUnited/Twitter

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