THE COUNTDOWN to this year’s SuperCupNI tournament is well and truly on for the Tyrone players who were hosted at a reception by Derry City and Strabane District Council in the Alley Theatre on Tuesday evening.
The SuperCupNI tournament this year runs from Monday, July 29 to August 2 and at the County’s official launch the committee, coaches, managers and the players were sent off with the best wishes of representatives of all three district council areas.
Cllr Michaela Boyle, Mayor of the host council, Cllr Siobhan Currie, chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, and Cllr Trevor Wilson, Mid Ulster, were all in attendance.
Cllr Boyle paid tribute to all involved in the Tyrone set-up and in particular the dedication and passion shown by the young players themselves.
“The SuperCupNI, formerly known as the Milk Cup, is recognised as the best youth soccer tournament in Europe and we as a council are delighted to be associated with the County Tyrone Junior and Premier squads,” she said.
“Recent years have shown that local teams boast as much talent as their international counterparts and I’m sure as always the current squads will give an excellent account of themselves this year.
“I know everyone will perform to the best of their ability and I wish the team and management every success throughout the tournament. I want to paid tribute to the managers, the coaches and most of all the young players for their dedication, hard work and passion for the game that they play.”
Cllr Wilson said that the tournament was a real opportunity for young players from this part of the world to put themselves in the shop window.
“I just want to wish every young player here tonight representing County Tyrone every success as we move forward into the SuperCup,” he said.
“The SuperCupNI is a prestigious event and allows county players to showcase their talents against the elite teams from across the water.”
Cllr Currie reiterated the thoughts of her counterparts and noted that both county sides had been guranteed glamour ties against Manchester United and Glasgow Celtic.
“The SuperCupNI has long been regarded as the premier youth soccer tournament in Europe and attracts the top clubs from Ireland, England, Europe, North and South America and the Far East,” she said.
“I’m glad the draw has been kind to each of the teams with a glamour tie with the Juniors facing Manchester United and the Premier completing their ties against Glasgow Celtic.
At this year’s tournament Martin Gallagher’s Juniors face Bracknell Town, Manchester United and Chilean opponents Colina while the Premier team, again managed by David Harvey, take on Vendee, Premier Soccer and Celtic.
FULL STORY IN TODAY’S ULSTER HERALD, DUNGANNON HERLD AND STRABANE CHRONICLE