HUGHES Insurance Foyle Cup Chairman Michael Hutton is backing the Derry public to come out in their thousands to celebrate the 2012 Tournament which will formally kick-off following this morning’s opening parade involving all 164 participating teams.
Michael Wilson reports
Teams from America, Canada, England, Scotland and all over Ireland will take part in a competition described by Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill as ‘one of the best in Europe’ and Mr. Hutton said he cannot wait to see some of the City’s home grown talent pitting their talents against Europe’s elite.
“I take great pleasure in watching the parade through our city centre each year,” explained Mr. Hutton, “This parade brings together so many of our youth from all over Ireland under the banner of sport – kids from the Shankill, kids from the Falls, kids from the Fountain, kids from the Bogside, kids of all colours, creed, nationalities, all parade together under the banner of sport.
“Northern Ireland needs so much more of this experience. There is no better sight than watching the parade of many colours marching down Shipquay Street to be greeted in Guildhall Square.”
In addition to competition at Under 10, 11, 12,14, 16 and 19 age levels, there will also be an Under 13, 15 and Ladies event this year, acknowledging the huge growth in the development of Ladies Football in Ireland over recent years.
“There has been much discussion in local football about increasing the opportunity for more of our top clubs, North and South, to compete in an all Ireland challenge cup competition. In organising the under 19 we want to give clubs this opportunity and at the same time create a much needed stepping stone from schoolboy to senior soccer for our 19-year olds, for whom we feel there is a serious shortage of organised competition.”
“The interest in the Foyle Cup tournament has been immense. I know that clubs are impressed by the standard of competition and by the high quality of organisation but they also experience such a warmth of welcome during their stay in this city, so much so that all leave with the strong intention of returning.”
The Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup tournament is supported by Derry City Council, Limavady Borough Council, Strabane District Council, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, University of Ulster, Dept. For Social Development, Sports Council for N. Ireland, E&I Engineering, White Horse Hotel, Derry Credit Union and Brunswick Superbowl.
Throughout the event, the Tournament Office will be situated in St. Columb’s Park activity Centre. For more information visit the tournament website www.foylecup.com or Tel: 02871359734.