| 4.2°C Belfast

Major boost for SuperCupNI as Premier League extends funding



Newcastle United in action at last year's SuperCupNI

Newcastle United in action at last year's SuperCupNI

Newcastle United in action at last year's SuperCupNI

The STATSports SuperCupNI has netted another major endorsement from the Premier League in England as chief executive Richard Masters confirmed that the league is to assist funding the tournament for another three years.

He said: "We discussed the competition with members of our academy team and the event is well respected and supported by various teams from the academy system, so the additional funding received their blessing as well."

Some of the league's best known stars, and indeed some from further afield, have featured at the top international youth tournament over the years.

James Milner, David Beckham, Sergio Busquets and Northern Ireland heroes such as Michael McGovern and Stuart Dallas all cut their teeth in the province's hugely successful competition.

Current England internationals Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Harry Maguire paraded their skills in venues such as Coleraine, Limavady and Ballymena.

The Premier League's support rubber stamps the invaluable role the tournament plays in developing young players by offering a financial contribution to run consecutively to a similar deal.

SuperCupNI chairman Victor Leonard said: "The tournament is recognised worldwide and the Premier League has certainly benefited from the progression young players have made in their competitive careers by competing at the highest level in Northern Ireland.

"We are indebted to the Premier League for this acknowledgement and it gives us massive encouragement to continue to present a top-ranked tournament despite all the numerous challenges that presents.

"We have established positive relationships with many football leagues and associations across the globe and I am proud that a league, which is known in just about every country in the world, continues such a glowing compliment."

Several years ago the Premier League introduced its Elite Player Performance Plan with the aim of producing more and better home-grown players and organisers of the SuperCupNI believe their event helps feed into that plan by providing Premier League clubs and other participants with a high level of competition in an environment that ideally helps develop young players.

STATSports SuperCupNI organisers are currently putting the finishing touches to plans for this summer's competition which will run from Monday, August 3 until Friday, August 7.

Belfast Telegraph