Mid and East Antrim set for festival of football as SuperCupNI kicks off
The best young players on the planet are arriving in Mid and East Antrim for a week-long festival of football during this year’s SuperCupNI.
Northern Ireland Women’s Under-19 side get the action under way against their Welsh counterparts in the prestigious tournament’s curtain-raiser at Ballymena Showgrounds from 2.30pm on Saturday 22 July.
And local fans have already been gifted the opportunity to see the Northern Ireland stars in action in training ahead of the crunch clash.
The team selected Mid and East Antrim for their pre-competition base, with the squad and coaches staying at Ballygally Castle Hotel in recent days and training at Wellington Recreation Football Club’s Millbrook home.
The Northern Ireland squad includes Morganne Beggs from Larne and Brenna McPartlan, whose family is from Ballymena.
Manchester United, Rangers and Newcastle United are among the other top teams set to take to pitches in the Borough in the coming days.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Paul Reid, said: “It’s a fantastic endorsement of our local facilities to have the Northern Ireland side based here ahead of the SuperCupNI.
“They go into the competition before the crucial Uefa Women’s Under-19 Championships being staged in Northern Ireland next month, with matches also taking place in Ballymena.
“The SuperCupNI continues to be one of the biggest events in the sporting calendar and we are honoured to be hosting several matches as well as having the privilege of staging the finals at Ballymena Showgrounds.
“This event puts Mid and East Antrim in the spotlight, showcasing some of the superb sports facilities we have on offer within the Borough.
“The competition is great for the economy and tourism, and shows we are open for business.
“We welcome all of the fantastic teams, families and fans from across the world.”
The SuperCupNI, formerly known as the Milk Cup, dates back to 1983 and has previously featured players who went on to become superstars, including current Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis and Manchester United legends David Beckham and Wayne Rooney.
A total of 42 teams will take part in this year’s SuperCupNI competition.
Matches will take place at Ballymena and Coleraine Showgrounds, Broughshane, Clough, Scroggy Road (Limavady), Riada Stadium (Ballymoney), Seahaven (Portstewart) and Anderson Park (Coleraine).
The traditional parade of competing teams through Coleraine will be on Sunday 23 July, with finals night at Ballymena Showgrounds on Friday 28 July.
SuperCupNI multi-match tickets are available online and in local outlets.
Buy yours via PayPal and get them in the post, or they can be collected locally from the Tourist Information Centre at The Braid, Warden Street or Seven Towers Leisure Centre.
For fixtures, times and venues of this year’s SuperCupNI, please visit: supercupni.com