O’Neill to launch 2012 Foyle Cup

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For the teams competing this year in the Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup, the wait is almost over as the official Press Launch announcing this year’s entries will be held in the City Hotel, Derry, tomorrow night (Wednesday) at 7.30 p.m.

This year’s event will witness the appearance of N. Ireland senior team manager, Michael O Neill, as the special guest of honour.

This year’s Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup will be held in Derry City, Strabane and Limavady Council areas area from July 16th to July 21st and will witness the largest ever entry of teams.

Celtic manager, Neil Lennon, has confirmed that Celtic will once again return to Derry to defend their trophy at Under-14 level but they will not have it their own way as fellow SPL representatives, Hearts and Kilmarnock, will also travel to compete against the best the Ireland can offer.

Michael Hutton, the tournament organiser, is not surprised by the continued growth in the event: “I know that after the wonderful experience visiting teams have during their stay in Derry each year, they leave determined to return. The Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup standards are exceptionally high and teams comment on how efficiently everything runs and how good the playing surfaces are.”

The event is proving ever more popular to Irish clubs as more and more effort in being placed in the production of young players through youth academies. Irish clubs such as Linfield, Glentoran, Coleraine, Crusaders, Glenavon, Portadown, Ballymena United, Derry City, Institute, Lisburn Distillery, Dungannon, Ards and Finn Harps have battled over the years with the best that English, Scottish and European clubs can offer.

“Each year, it is pleasing to note the growth of the Foyle Cup and as we head towards our City of Culture year, it is certainly pleasing that we have a huge entry of teams competing this year.

“When one looks at the development of players in our own city and examines the number of young players now playing International football - all of whom have played in the Derry & District Youth League and Foyle Cup tournament - Shay Given, James McClean, Darron Gibson, Paddy McCourt, Shane Ferguson, Daniel Lafferty, Shane Duff y and Eunan O’Kane.

“Never has Derry had this level of representation at international level and, make no mistake about it, there are future international players presently playing with Derry City in the Airtricity League. Our local players are not simply being assembled to play in a tournament but are reaping the benefits of many years of involvement and preparation put in by their coaches.”

Local Sponsorship Sought

“We are very much appealing to local companies to get behind the 2012 event by sponsoring an age group, match balls or player of the tournament.”

Details regarding the event can be viewed on the website - www.foylecup.com - or Tel 02871-359734.