Causeway Chronicle

Co Tyrone coach encourages Bahrain National Team to take on SuperCupNI challenge

Conor Marlin: Conor Marlin pictured in his previous role as Co Tyrone SuperCupNI coach

For immediate releaseThe Bahrain National Team have confirmed their attendance at 2024 SuperCupNI and their participation is down to the efforts of Tyrone native and friend of the tournament Conor Marlin.

Marlin, a former manager at the tournament with Tyrone, was instrumental in Club NI’s participation in the tournament in the past and in his new role as Talent Coach with FIFA he is working with the Bahrain FA as he looks to provide his wisdom, knowledge and advice to those on the Persian Gulf.

The Bahrain National Team will compete in the Junior (U14) section of the tournament and tournament management team member Sam Gamble said they were delighted to welcome Bahrain to Northern Ireland.

“Conor and I used to work together at Club NI, and we have always kept in touch. I was speaking to Conor earlier in the year and we were talking about his new role with FIFA in Bahrain and I asked him if he could speak to the relevant people in the FA to see if they would be interested in attending the tournament.

“Conor is a huge friend of the tournament, and he was able to tell them firsthand about his experiences with Tyrone and Club NI and I know from the conversations we have had with the Bahrain FA they are thrilled to be attending such a prestigious tournament.

“There is considerable investment being made in football in the Middle East and over the last few years we have formed our partnership with the Mina Cup in Dubai and we believe that the Bahrain National Team’s involvement this summer will increase interest in the area and lead to more teams and associations looking to test themselves at our tournament.”

Bahrain are joined in the Junior section by two talented squads from America. USSSA Select made their debut last summer in the girls’ tournament and they are returning this summer to make their bow in the boys’ tournament. FC America are also returning to the tournament having made their first appearance in 2023.

The tournament has had a long tradition of teams from the greater Dublin area and in the past Cherry Orchard and Home Farm have claimed top honours at the tournament. This summer St Francis FC from West Dublin will make their debut in the Junior section of the tournament. The Baldonnel based outfit famously reached the FAI Cup final in 1990, becoming the first non-league side to do so. Among their most famous former players is friend of the tournament and Westlife star Nicky Byrne.

The 2024 tournament will take place from 21st to 26th July, with the traditional parade and opening ceremony kicking off proceedings on 21st July and the tournament will close with finals day on Friday 26th July.

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Maurice Bradley