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Local sides face tough challenge to win inaugural mini SuperCupNI

By Robert Jones

Several of Northern Ireland’s top local clubs will be vying for the honour of lifting the inaugural mini SuperCupNI title this summer.

Organisers launched the new competition for Under-13 players a few weeks back and have been astonished by the interest.

“We initially wanted to start with eight teams but quickly realised that we might have to go bigger,” says tournament chairman Victor Leonard.

“We had to limit the number considerably in the end in order to let us trial the first year with a dozen teams.

“We felt that it was worthwhile to try something different and present our supporters with a new and exciting expansion of the SuperCupNI experience.”

Joining Coleraine FC Academy and Bertie Peacock Youth will be Linfield, Glenavon, Ballinamallard United, Dungannon Swifts and Glentoran Academy, together with Greenisland Boys — the club that nurtured talent such as Jonny Evans, his younger brother Corry, Josh Carson and Craig Cathcart — and Portadown Boys.

Three clubs from outside the province will complete the entry with the tournament to be based at the Ulster University in Coleraine which will present a week of special events to coincide with hosting the competition.

The final will be played at Coleraine Showgrounds on the afternoon of Friday, July 27.

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.

This year’s tournament will run from July 23 to 27 across several north coast venues, with the welcome parade taking place in Coleraine on Sunday, July 22.

Belfast Telegraph

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