April 16, 2019 – Over the last 15 years, the “First Steps” tournament has grown into one of the largest international football tournaments for youth in this part of Europe. This year’s edition begins on April 17th and lasts until April 20th, and following the great interest of foreign clubs, there is a significantly larger number of participants in Dalmatia.
Over four days, more than 2,000 young footballers will compete on fields in Split, Trogir, Klis and Dugopolje and play around 290 matches in five age groups, from U8 to U12, with a direct broadcast on Planet Sport.
“Apart from numerous Croatian clubs, led by HNK Hajduk, NK Osijek, NK Rijeka and GNK Dinamo, football giants including FC Bayern, AS Roma, FC Red Bull Salzburg, PSV, FC Perugia and many others from 10 countries around the world will play in the tournament. Everyone is from Europe, and there is one Australian club – the Melbourne Knights, a club that raised some of the greatest Australian and Croatian footballers,” said Franko Bogdan, President of NK Adriatic, a Split Club who is also organized the tournament.
Wednesday’s first U-10 match will be the first official match on the new, redone Trogir stadium, where the hosts will face AS Roma’s ten-year-olds. Still, the strongest competition comes to the “Croatian Knights” stadium in Dugopolje, the most beautiful football pitch featured in the “First Steps” tournament. The Dugopolje stadium is reserved for the games of the U-12 category, where hosts Hajduk and Dinamo will face Bayern, PSV, Red Bull Salzburg and others. In Dugopolje on Saturday, at 16:30, the closing ceremony and award ceremony will be held.
The opening ceremony of the “First Steps” tournament, which will include a vibrant entertainment program, will be held on Wednesday at the Mall of Split at 18:30.