Northern Ireland football celebrations continued this week as McDonald’s Coleraine ladies team returned from France as runners-up in the European McDonald’s Cup.
The McDonald’s Coleraine store team reached the final of the tournament playing against Denmark, Switzerland, France and Belarus before losing to Italy in the final at Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice.
The tournament saw six a-side teams from 16 countries compete for the European-wide trophy.
The Coleraine team began their journey earlier in the year, winning a regional heat involving teams from across Northern Ireland. The knockout stages saw more than 5000 players from across the UK play for a chance to travel to France for the finals and represent the UK. The team then won the UK heats and their place in France following a tough finals contest at Hampden Park in May.
Team Captain, Kirstin Stevenson, from the McDonald’s Coleraine restaurant said: “I am so proud of how we performed throughout the entire tournament, its brought us closer together and definitely improved all of our footballing skills! The whole experience from start to finish has been amazing; the tournament provided us with the opportunity to make new friends from across Europe and it’s an experience we will savour for a long time.”
McDonald’s Coleraine Franchisee Bruce Baillie added: “I am extremely proud of what my Coleraine ladies team has achieved. The whole team worked incredibly hard to prepare for the Euros and it was fantastic to see their efforts rewarded with a place in the tournament final. The team pulled together and worked incredibly hard while enjoying the experience, exactly as they do week in and week out in the restaurant.”
The McDonald’s Cup is part of the McDonald’s Community Football Programme, an initiative aimed at raising the standards of grassroots football for players everywhere. For more information go to www.mcdonalds.co.uk/betterplay