Gilfillan Cup kicks-off new season

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The Rathmor Motors Pre MOT Centre Springtown North West Saturday Morning League will officially kick off their new season on Saturday 24th August 2013.

The season, not breaking with tradition, will commence with the group stages of the Gilfillan Cup with eight groups comprised of two groups of four and six groups of three with the top team in each group qualifying for the quarter final stage. The North West of Ireland Champions League will begin around the last week of July and the league will be represented by Phoenix Swifts the holders along with Clifton Villa, Brandywell Celtic and Creggan Swifts. Westbank United who finished in a qualifying position can not take part as they stand suspended from the competition. The winner of last seasons Champions League were treated to a VIP trip to the Aviva Stadium courtesy of John Delaney CEO of the FAI and a similar prize should be made available to the winners this season. The draw will be made very shortly for that competition.

The league this season will be made up of three divisions with ten teams contesting the Premier Division eight teams in the Championship and eight teams in the First Division with the teams in the Championship and First Division playing each other three times. The Gilfillan Cup groups are as follows. Group One Clifton Villa, Oxford United, Creggan Swifts and Drumahoe. Group Two HML, Art Deco, Bentley FC, Oakleaf Celtic. Group Three Du Pont, Sion Swifts, Tamnaherin Celtic. Group Four Foyle Athletic, Westbank United Phoenix Swifts. Group Five Benbradagh Colts, Clooney, Tristar. Group Six Hatmore Harps, Metro, Collon Celtic. Group Seven Newton Heath, Culmore, Strabane Athletic. Group Eight Brandywell Celtic, Rosemount, Gransha Institute.

Competing in the Premier Division will be Benbradagh Colts, Brandywell Celtic, Clifton Villa, Clooney, Creggan Swifts, Du Pont, Phoenix Swifts, Rosemount, Strabane Athletic and Westbank United.

Teams in the Championship are Bentley FC, Collon Celtic, Drumahoe, Gransha Institute, Sion Swifts, Tamnaherin Celtic, Tristar.

Teams in the First Division are Art Deco, Culmore, Foyle Athletic, Hatmore Harps, HML, Metro, Oakleaf Celtic, Oxford United.

The draw has also been made for the Blue Riband Cup six teams were awarded byes to the next round and they are Collon Celtic, Bentley, Sion Swifts, Du Pont, Strabane Athletic and Oxford United. First round ties are Brandywell Celtic v HML; Foyle Athletic v Hatmore Harps; Clooney v Art Deco; Culmore v Metro; Clifton Villa v Oakleaf Celtic; Tristar v Phoenix Swifts; Westbank United v Rosemount; Drumahoe v Creggan Swifts; Benbradagh Colts v Gransha Institute; Tamnaherin Celtic v Newton Heath.

The committee this season comprises of Chairman George Coyle; League Secretary George Hegarty; Match Secretary Donal Ferry; Treasurer Charlie McGill; PRO Billy Carlin; Committee Conal McHugh; Sean Condren was also elected at the AGM but resigned from the committee for personal reasons.