The UEFA European Under-19 Championship consists of three distinct stages: the qualifying round, the elite round and the final tournament.
The qualifying round, played in autumn, is made up of 13 groups of four teams playing in one-venue mini-tournaments. The top two from each progress alongside the third-placed team with the best record against the top pair in their group.
In the elite round, played in the spring, those 27 qualifiers join the top seed, given a bye, in seven mini-tournament groups of four. The group winners then join the hosts in the finals.
The seven qualifiers plus the hosts are split into two groups of four who play each other once, with the top two progressing to the semi-finals. The winners of those ties contest the final.
Further details, including the criteria for separating teams that finish level on points in a group, or after extra time in a match, can be found in the official competition regulations.
A scorer of three goals for the Netherlands at the 2016 UEFA European Under-19 Championship, Sam Lammers is gaining first-team experience off the bench at PSV Eindhoven.
Name: Sam Lammers
Club: PSV Eindhoven
Debut: 21 September 2016 v Roda (Dutch Cup)
Born: 30 April 1997
Preferred foot: both
They say …
"Sam has the advantage of being two-footed and handling small spaces [well]. He is eager to learn and wants to play football all day."
PSV youth coach Twan Scheepers
"I gave him his first-team debut not only because of his goals, but also for the way he is working with Jong PSV and showing he wants to keep developing and improving."
PSV coach Phillip Cocu
Lammers joined PSV's youth setup from Willem II in 2010. Standing 1.9m tall, the forward was once a midfielder. Lammers moved up to PSV's reserve side at the beginning of last season and also began this term playing in the Dutch second tier, as well as the UEFA Youth League, where he scored and provided an assist in a 2-0 victory over Bayern München on matchday three. Since mid-October Lammers has made three senior appearances, two of them in the Eredivisie.
Playing style …
Adept with both feet, technically gifted and tall, Lammers would seem to have it all. He has a nose for goal and is strong on the ground and in the air.
Shades of …
Ruud van Nistelrooy, also a former midfielder who took his first steps in the Dutch second division.
Eureka moment …
Lammers registered a 32-minute hat-trick against Den Bosch on 8 August. He was on target again in the second half as Jong PSV ran out 5-4 winners.
Best-case scenario …
Lammers will learn a lot from working with Luc Nilis and Van Nistelrooy, not to mention his Uncle John, a former NAC Breda striker. Having been given a couple of cameo outings by Cocu, Lammers will hope to become the stand-in for, and eventual successor to, PSV No9 Luuk de Jong.
He says …
"Van Nistelrooy is the right person to teach me things. I used to watch footage of him, but now we watch clips of me to help my development."
"Nilis came to me after almost every shot I had in training to tell me I could have hit them a little different. Small details. Really meaningful."
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