FOOTBALL: Ex-Republic of Ireland midfielder Kevin Kilbane to launch 2015 Foyle Cup

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FORMER Republic of Ireland international midfielder, Kevin Kilbane will be special guest of honour at the official launch of the 2015 Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup on June 4th next at the City Hotel.

Tournament organiser, Mr Michael Hutton expressed his delight at securing the services of the current ‘Match of the Day’ analyst as the Foyle Cup continues its tradition of attracting top professional footballers to help launch the event.

“We are delighted to have the pleasure of welcoming Kevin Kilbane as our Special Guest of Honour,” said Mr Hutton. “Last year we had the approval of Shay Given, Ireland’s second most capped international player and this year we have Ireland’s third most capped international player, Kevin Kilbane.

“Kevin has had a tremendous football career on the field of play having played for several English clubs, including Everton, West Bromwich Albion, Sunderland, Wigan Athletic, Hull, Huddersfield Town, Derby County and Coventry City and since the end of his playing career, he has concentrated on forging a media career,” he continued.

“He has worked as a pundit for RTÉ Sport and is now a columnist for the ‘Irish Daily Mail’ and appears on BBC Radio 5 Live, ‘Football Focus’, ‘Final Score’ and ‘Match of the Day’.

“It is appropriate that we should have the honour of welcoming another Irish International player to the city this year, for the Foyle Cup has been the passport into professional football for current Irish internationals such as Shay Given, Darron Gibson, James McClean, Seamus Coleman, Robbie Keane, Stephen Ireland, John O’Shea, Daniel Lafferty, Shane Duffy and Shane Ferguson.”

And for the 278 teams signed up to this year’s competition, they will discover who they’ve been paired with in the group stages of their respective age groups when the draw is made on the day.

Mr Hutton is delighted with the continued growth of the Foyle Cup event despite the difficulty in securing funding.

“It’s hard to believe that this event had its humble beginnings in 1992 when we organised an eight team, one day tournament and in 2015 we will have a six day festival of football with 278 teams competing,” explained Mr Hutton.

“The interest in the event has been immense and this year more than any other year we have had to decline applications due to the lack of resources available to us.

Last year we had the approval of Shay Given, Ireland’s second most capped international player and this year we have Ireland’s third most capped international player, Kevin Kilbane.

Michael Hutton

“Hotels are reporting to me that interest in securing accommodation for the event began as soon as last year’s event ended and that the event will witness 100 per cent occupancy in local hotels, B&Bs, rented accommodation, hostels, all over the North West region.

“And clubs such as Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs, Sunderland, Norwich City, Sheffield Utd, Blackburn Rovers, Celtic, Hearts, Rangers, and many others, return to scout the event every year searching for the next Irish star.”

The event is sponsored by Hughes Insurance; Derry and Strabane District Council, Causeway Coast Council, Department of Culture Arts & Leisure; Department for Social Development; Northern Ireland Tourist Board; Seagate; PSNI; Brunswick Superbowl; E&I Engineering; and Derry Credit Union.

For more details contact Michael Hutton on 02871359734 or visit website www.foylecup.com