Manchester United: Old Trafford youth side to play at Ballyclare’s Dixon Park
SuperCup NI has confirmed a match between Ballymena Utd Under-18s and a Man Utd youth team next month.
It is expected that the Premier League club’s Under-16 squad will meet the home youth team at the Showgrounds on July 28.
It is one of three matches scheduled during the squad’s trip to Northern Ireland. The others will take place against Coleraine FC and Linfield FC’s youth teams.
SuperCup NI organisers invited the Old Trafford club to send a team to celebrate winning its first title at the 1991 Milk Cup.
In a statement, SuperCup NI chairman Victor Leonard said: “Manchester United are looking forward to bringing over some of their brightest stars and it will be an incredible opportunity for players from three of our local clubs to test themselves against such prestigious opposition.
“We have witnessed in the past how so many of Manchester United’s stars have come to prominence at the competition and we have no doubt these games will capture the imagination of football fans locally.
“We are delighted that spectators will be in attendance at the games and prior to each of the matches we will work closely with the respective host councils, the Public Health Agency and the Department of Health to ensure we comply with all current guidance and Covid regulations.
“Manchester United have very fond memories of the Milk Cup, now SuperCup NI, and having spoken to officials at Old Trafford we know that they are very excited about the three games and are looking forward to coming to Northern Ireland.
“We also thank the local councils of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Causeway Coast and Glens and Mid and East Antrim, who have given valued support to us in 2020 and 2021 to ensure we will be staging our tournament again in 2022. We know that the visit of Manchester United will bring a welcome boost to the local businesses in the towns where the games are being played.”
The Old Trafford players will face Coleraine on Monday, July 26 at Seahaven (Mullaghacall) in Portstewart and on Wednesday, July 28, Ballymena United at the Ballymena Showgrounds and Linfield FC at Dixon Park in Ballyclare on Friday, July 30. Each of the games is scheduled to kick off at 7pm.
Meanwhile, Ballymena United has been progressing discussions with Northern Regional College which is keen to establish a football focused BTec course for 16 to 18-year-olds with a view to commencing in September.
Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter
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