Youth Football League

Publication date: 20 Nov 2023

About the Youth Football League

The Youth Football League (YFL) is an annual football tournament in which youth teams of Russian Premier League (RPL) clubs and Junior Football League (JFL) teams take part. Athletes in this football league are aged from 19 to 21. This tournament is held in two rounds under the “each against each” system. The first eight place teams qualify for the play-offs, where they then compete for the championship. Russian Youth Football Cup is awarded to the winner of the YFL. The best players of the tournament receive individual awards.

YFL is one of the most significant events in the system of training young footballers in Russia. Further development of the tournament is expected in the future, improving its quality and raising interest in it from the fans.

YFL official website

YFL 2023

The 17th season of the Youth Football League tournament takes place from 7 July to 1 December 2023. There are 20 teams competing in the YFL 2023 season: 16 youth teams of RPL clubs and 4 JFL teams: Konoplyov football academy, Strogino, School of Olympic reserve No. 5, Chertanovo.

History of the Youth Football League creation

The YFL in Russia was created in 2008. Prior to that there was a tournament of the Premier League reserve teams, which was replaced by the YFL.

The first season of the RFPL reserve teams’ tournament was organized by the RPL and only from 2022 the tournament was taken over by the JFL.

  • 2001-2007 – Premier League reserve teams’ tournament;
  • 2008 – 2021 – Russian youth football championship;
  • 2021/2022 Season – M-League;
  • 2022/2023 Season – Youth Football League.

Many famous footballers started their careers in the YFL, including:

  • Aleksandr Golovin (CSKA)
  • Alexei Miranchuk (Lokomotiv)
  • Denis Cheryshev (Real Madrid)
  • Anton Zabolotny (Spartak)
  • Fyodor Smolov (Dynamo)

Winners of previous Youth Football League seasons

Year Venue Winning team
2022/2023 Russia 1st place – Krasnodar 

2nd place – Zenit 

3rd place – CSKA

2021/2022 Russia 1st place – CSKA

2nd place – Rostov

3rd place – Lokomotiv

2020/2021 Russia 1st place – CSKA

2nd place – Krasnodar 

3rd place – Zenit

YFL 2024

Currently, the start date of the next Youth Football League season is not yet known. So far it is clear that from the next season the tournament format will switch to a “spring-autumn” system

Keep an eye on the dates of football tournaments and other events in our Sporting Events Calendar.

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