Tim Sherwood believes our young players will gain a wealth of experience by competing in the all-new NextGen Series.
We kick-off our participation in the miniature European league tournament for Under-19s away to Swiss side FC Basel at the Rankhof Stadium, home to FC Concordia Basel and FC Nordstein Basel, on Wednesday, kick off 5.30pm.
It's the inaugural year of the NextGen Series.
Sanctioned by UEFA and the FA, the tournament has been established to assist young players in making the transition from youth football to senior level.
We have been drawn in Grour Four and take on FC Basel, PSV Eindhoven and Inter Milan.
After our debut at Basel, we take on Inter Milan at Leyton Orient on Wednesday, August 31, kick-off 2pm.
"It's a really positive initiative," said Tim, our Technical Co-Ordinator. "The players will gain a lot of experience up against top-class European opposition.
"It gives them the chance to pit themselves against those players and gives myself, Les (Ferdinand) and Chris (Ramsey) the chance to judge them against what the best teams on Europe have got at that age.
"It's definitely the way forward. As a club, we hope to be involved in European football and this is a fantastic chance for these lads to have a taste of the styles they might come up against."
Sixteen clubs from across Europe, including Barcelona, Celtic, Liverpool and Marseille have been drawn into four groups of four, playing home and away, with the top two from each advancing to the knockout phase to determine who will be crowned champions in January, 2012.
Our fixtures are as follows:
August 17 - Basel (A)
August 31 - Inter (H)
September 28 - PSV (A)
October 19 - PSV (H)
November 2 - Inter (A)
November 23 - Basel (H)
Ticket details, as well as further information on our remaining group matches will follow as soon as we have it confirmed.