Glasgow Celtic to make first ever appearance at SuperCupNI

Irish pair Fiacre Kelleher and goalkeeper Connor Hazard hope to be with the Celtic squad at the U-21 SuperCupNI
Irish pair Fiacre Kelleher and goalkeeper Connor Hazard hope to be with the Celtic squad at the U-21 SuperCupNI
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Scottish giants Celtic will make their first ever appearance at the SuperCupNI this summer.

The Glasgow club will help launch a new Under-21 competition at the international tournament – formerly known as the Milk Cup - in July.

Chairman Victor Leonard said: “Celtic have been extremely positive about the idea since we first approached them.

“It is exciting for us to break new ground, not only with the inauguration of a new competition but also in welcoming a club of the calibre of Celtic to the event.

“We have enjoyed a healthy relationship in the past and their participation is also a fitting tribute to one of our tournament’s founders, Bertie Peacock, who was captain of Celtic during a highly successful era at Parkhead during the 1950s.”

“In the past we staged U-19 and U-20 Elite competitions for international sides but that has proved challenging in recent years.

“We wound up the international section last year while we continued to examine diversifying and the possibility of expanding beyond the already successful Junior and Premier competitions which feature club teams and county representatives from across Northern Ireland.”

Victor added: “Our feedback clearly indicated that clubs would welcome a competition allowing them to utilise players close to making the step up into senior football and that is an exciting prospect for supporters of the SuperCupNI.”

Tommy McIntyre, Development Squad Coach at Celtic, said: “We are delighted to participate in this year’s SuperCupNI.

“The event will be an integral part of our pre-season preparation and will prove to be an excellent test against top quality opposition, prior to defending our league title in Scotland.”

He added: “We look forward to having a big Celtic support at our matches and hopefully they will have the opportunity to see future first team players.

“Our squad will consist of a number of boys who have played at international level and who have experience playing against the cream of Europe at club level.”