Manchester United give new Dale Farm Milk Cup venture the perfect boost

Ben and Rebecca Andrews from County Antrim with the first copy of the Dale Farm Milk Cup programme which is now on sale.
Ben and Rebecca Andrews from County Antrim with the first copy of the Dale Farm Milk Cup programme which is now on sale.

Manchester United will contest a new tournament at the Dale Farm Milk Cup.

Four team will compete in the inaugural Under-13 Festival at Colearine Showgrounds, ahead of the main tournaments.

The competition, which also features Northern Ireland, Partick Thistle and the North Dublin Schools League, begins on Friday, July 25, and will run on a round robin basis with matches on the following Saturday afternoon and evening.

“It’s a new venture and we will see how it works out,” says Victor Leonard, chairman of the Dale Farm Milk Cup.

“If there is an appetite for a competition at this level we will look at progressing it in 2015.

“Manchester United are keen to progress younger players at this level so too is Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill.”

O’Neill has invested a lot of his time in reviewing the underage structures in the international set up where he ultimately sees future benefit for the country at higher levels.

“We are hoping that the high standard of players in this new event will attract the support of the local public, particularly as it is being centred at Coleraine Showgrounds,” said Victor.

A special opening ceremony will take place at Coleraine Showgrounds on the Friday for the four teams involved.

The programme for the U-13 Festival is:

Friday July 25: 6.15pm - opening ceremony (Coleraine Showgrounds); 6.45pm - North Dublin SL v Northern Ireland; 7.45pm - Partick Thistle v Manchester United.

Saturday July 26:11:30am - North Dublin SL v Manchester United; 11:30am - Partick Thistle v Northern Ireland. 6.45/7.45pm - Northern Ireland v Manchester United; Partick Thistle v North Dublin SL. The order of these two games will be decided by the tournament committee after the Saturday morning games.

Matches in the U-13 Festival wil not be covered by the tournament’s multi match ticket. Admission to every session of two games will be £3 (adults) and £2 (U-16s)

In addition to title sponsors Dale Farm, Northern Ireland’s largest dairy company, the Dale Farm Milk Cup is supported by the five Council areas of Coleraine, Ballymena, Ballymoney and Limavady Borough Councils and Derry City Council, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, apparel sponsors Legea, the Sun newspaper and Dawson Whyte Insurance with BBC Sport NI as broadcast partners.

Meanwhile, the Milk Cup programme has now gone on sale.