Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers hails the importance of the Milk Cup for Anfield stars
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says the importance of the Dale Farm Milk Cup in the development of young players at Anfield cannot be underestimated.
The County Antrim man has again agreed to send a team to contest the Junior event at the international youth football tournament in Northern Ireland this summer.
It is a major boost for organisers who are held in the highest esteem by Rodgers. The Ulsterman not only played in the event for Ballymena United three years in succession more than two decades ago but has also been involved in the draw in Belfast on several occasions.
"I believe in what the organisers are doing not only in terms of the sport and the extremely high calibre of teams they attract but also from the massive success story as far as selling Northern Ireland across the world," said Rodgers.
"The Dale Farm Milk Cup is an internationally recognised brand that appeals to all ages and all nationalities.
"It is something that engenders terrific pride in people both at home and across the entire globe. Anyone who has been to the tournament remembers it fondly.
"In terms of what we are striving to achieve with young players at Anfield, the competition cannot be underestimated. It gives players the challenge of tournament football in a stimulating environment and at the highest level."
Liverpool won the Premier title in 1988, defeating Motherwell in the decider. In 2013 they reached the semi-finals of the same competition only to lose to County Antrim. Last year the Juniors lost their Globe semi-final to Southampton.
And Southampton will again be represented when the competition kicks off on Monday, July 27 across venues from Ballymena to Londonderry, Limavady to Ballymoney and the North Coast.
The St. Mary's club lost the Globe final last year to Brentford, who are also returning this year.
Swindon Town, Plymouth Argyle and Sheffield United are all also returning in the Junior competition.