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Antrim aim to make history with a treble

 

Just champion: County Antrim celebrate lifting the Junior section trophy after beating Manchester United last year
Just champion: County Antrim celebrate lifting the Junior section trophy after beating Manchester United last year

By Robert Jones

For the last two years the Junior section of the STATSports SuperCupNI has been dominated by the boys from County Antrim — and the holders will again be hopeful of creating history this summer and become the first ever team to win three consecutive titles.

Antrim start their campaign against Dundalk, before facing County Fermanagh on day two and concluding their qualifying campaign against Mexican newcomers Pumas UNAM.

Last year’s runners up Manchester United have amazingly never secured the Junior crown and the Old Trafford youngsters kick off their tournament with a clash against Strikers from California. The Red Devils will also face County Tyrone and fellow English side Charlton Athletic.

One of the stand-out entrants in the Junior section this summer are Arsenal. The Londoners will be making their debut at the competition and they have American opposition in Global Premier Soccer on day one, followed by home side County Londonderry and an all-English meeting with Plymouth Argyle.

Scottish giants Rangers always attract a large following at the competition and they will continue their almost annual battle with County Armagh on the opening night in Ballymoney. The Ibrox youngsters will also face stern tests against English newcomers Bracknell Town and Global Premier Soccer.

Dundee United are returning after a long absence and the Taysiders have an intriguing game on the opening day against Leeds United, before facing County Armagh and O’Higgins from Chile, who have returned to the U15 section after an impressive showing in 2014.

The county teams have continued to improve year after year, and they will all have dreams and aspirations of following Antrim’s success in the Junior category.

The 2019 competition promises to be one of the best in recent years, with a plethora of top English talent joining exciting sides from Scotland, South America, North America and Ireland.

With only Rangers and County Antrim having etched their name on the famous trophy in the past, there could be every chance that we could have a new winner celebrating on Friday evening at the Ballymena Showgrounds.

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