Sports

35th SuperCupNI tournament poised to kick-off

Thursday, 20 July 2017

35th SuperCupNI tournament poised to kick-off thumbnailThe official launch of SuperCupNI in Ballymena. GB2766R

THE 35th SuperCupNI soccer tournament, which has its finals day at Ballymena Showgrounds on Friday, July 28, kicks-off on Monday, July 24, writes Shaun O'Neill.
Big crowd-pullers, Manchester United, are back in contentiion - while County Antrim has two teams in the event - Premier and Junior.
Games will be played locally in Broughshane and Clough, as well as at the Showgrounds.
Other venues are Coleraine, Ballymoney, Limavady, Portrush, and Portstewart.
At the end of last month the official launch of SuperCupNI - hosted by Mid and Antrim Borough Council - took place in The Braid (Town Hall) in Ballymena.
Guest that evening was former NI and Manchester United player Keith Gillespie.
Former BBC sports presenter Jackie Fullerton and current presenter Stephen Watson chatted with Gillespie about his time at the then NI Milk Cup - and when the young side he played on actually won the title.
Gillespie told the turnout that he was pleased that Man United, who pulled out of last year's tournament, have reconsidered and come back in the Junior competition.
“United have such fervent support in Northern Ireland and their teams have always been a massive draw for fans every July when the SuperCupNI kicks off," he said.
Mayor
Meanwhile, Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr. Paul Reid, recalled that last year's winners from the Premier section, O'Higgins from Chile, are back to defend their title and Right To Dream from Ghana, winners from the Junior section, are sending a team to participate in this years Premier section.
For the second year, as part of the tournament, women's football will showcase two matches with Northern Ireland taking on Wales prior to the main competition.
*Read the full story in this week's Ballymena Guardian.

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