Causeway Chronicle

Four Football Giants Embrace SuperCupNI Anniversary Spirit

Two Premier League heavyweights will be making their way to Northern Ireland later on this summer as their latest crop of young talents takes on some of Europe’s best.

Manchester United and Liverpool FC will take part in a special Under-18 Elite section at the SuperCupNI and the English duo will face stern tests as they face two European heavyweights in Valencia from Spain and Hertha Berlin from Germany.

This innovative Elite competition coincides with the 40th anniversary of the tournament and each of the games are sure to attract bumper crowds!

The two English sides are long term supporters of the tournament, with Manchester United a regular visitor to Northern Ireland for over 30 years. Liverpool FC were regular attendees back in the 90s and they returned to the competition in 2012, the same year that long term supporter of the tournament Brendan Rodgers took over the reins at Anfield.

La Liga side Valencia vowed the crowds in what was their first appearance at the competition in 2019 as they defeated Newcastle United in the Premier showpiece, while German giants Hertha Berlin last competed in the 2008 tournament.

SuperCupNI chairperson Victor Leonard said they were delighted to receive the support of four high profile clubs.

“The tournament is renowned across the world and over the years we have been able to develop a number of strong friendships through football.

“When we approached Manchester United and Liverpool about this venture, both clubs were incredibly supportive and were keen to throw their support behind it.

“We have been able to stay in close contact with our contatcs at Valencia and their Academy were full of praise for tournament after their debut in 2019 and we know that they will bring over an incredibly talented side for this tournament.

“Hertha Berlin are also well respected in Germany as a club that promotes young players, and we were delighted to have the club confirm their participation.”

Both Liverpool and Manchester United have significant followings in Northern Ireland and Victor Leonard admitted they are anticipating considerable interest in this Elite section.

“Supporters of both clubs in recent years have witnessed firsthand the likes of Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay, Curtis Jones and Trent Alexander-Arnold starring at the tournament and we have no doubt that all of the games will be very well attended.

“We are expecting supporters to attend in their numbers at each of the games and this will have a positive impact on the council area as a whole as local businesses reap the rewards of increased footfall in the Coleraine, Ballymena and indeed the surrounding areas for the 6 matches.

Ticketing details for the Elite matches will be released in the coming weeks and will be announced on our social media channels and website.

The 2023 tournament kicks off on Sunday 23rd July with the welcoming ceremony in Coleraine and concludes with finals day on Friday 28th July.

Elite Section Fixtures

Monday 24th July
Manchester United v Hertha Berlin – 7.45pm – Coleraine Showgrounds
Liverpool FC v Valencia – 7.45pm – Ballymena Showgrounds

Wednesday 26th July
Manchester United v Liverpool – 7.45pm – Coleraine Showgrounds
Hertha Berlin v Valencia – 7.45pm – Ballymena Showgrounds

Friday 28th July
Manchester United v Valencia – 8pm – Ballymena Showgrounds
Liverpool v Hertha Berlin – 8pm – Coleraine Showgrounds

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Maurice Bradley