Super Cup NI set for revolutionary expansion in 2018
As it celebrates its 36th year, the SuperCupNI is expanding in an innovative new move that will revolutionise the tournament as it is currently known.
The change will see a spin-off of the tournament launched, which will include an Under-13 competition for club sides.
The new Mini section, as it will be called, will be centred in Coleraine and returns after a trial period in 2014.
Tournament chairman Victor Leonard revealed: “It’s a progression from an experiment we kicked off in 2014 and there has been a positive response.”
The idea was first trialled in 2014 when Northern Ireland were the champions with victory over Manchester United in the final.
The young local lads, however, will not get a chance to defend their title as the decision has been made not to include international teams and instead focus solely on club sides.
“We didn’t involve too many teams when we trialled a competition at this age group but after careful assessment of the outcome we are convinced that expanding the format is worth exploring in 2018,” Leonard explained.
“We believe club sides will be much more amenable and having spent considerable time taking soundings from many of our contacts, we feel the club option is the way forward as we seek to develop our event going forward.
“It does present us as organisers with new challenges but we feel that it is worthwhile to try something different and present our supporters with new and exciting expansion of the SuperCupNI experience.”
As always, the tournament — formerly the Milk Cup — will be headlined by the Premier (U17) and Junior (U15) sections, open to club and international teams.
Next year’s tournament will run from July 23-27 across several north coast venues, with the welcome parade taking place in Coleraine on Sunday, July 22.