Entries are now open for the 2014 competition

Derry Colts celebrate their success in winning the Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup U-16 trophy. Included are Keith Robinson, Jonathan Robinson, Hughes Insurance, and Michael Hutton, chairman, Foyle Cup.''Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography

Derry Colts celebrate their success in winning the Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup U-16 trophy. Included are Keith Robinson, Jonathan Robinson, Hughes Insurance, and Michael Hutton, chairman, Foyle Cup.''Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography

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Details have just been released, inviting teams to enter the 2014 Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup which will take place in Derry and North West region from July 21st to July 26th 2014.

The invitation is extended to all clubs competing in youth football, north or south to compete in this event with no fewer than eight male competitions and three female competitions to enter.

Whilst there are many age categories to enter, the Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup is about more than the football. Camaraderie, friendly rivalry and superb hospitality from the local population will make your visit to the 2014 tournament one to remember. Whilst there will undoubtedly be a high standard of entry, the tournament is played in the Olympic spirit – ‘It is not always the winning that is important, it is the taking part.’

For tournament organiser, Michael Hutton, the 2014 tournament will be without doubt the best ever.

“How do you judge success,” he asked “Is it judged on the number of entries? We had that with over 230 teams competing last year and probably even more this year.

“Is it judged on the quality of entry or how far teams travel? We attract a high quality of entry with teams from Premier league in Scotland and England competing annually and teams travelling from as far away as Canada and America.

“Is success gauged on the quality of pitches? Then for sure the Foyle Cup ranks as one of the best for the compliments received annually highlight that fact.

“Is success based on on the number of spectators? Well if so, 2014 will be our biggest and best yet.

“The success of the tournament has to be judged on the experience of the teams and visitors to the city for the week long event and their desire to return in future years and I can assure all concerned, that the Foyle Cup 2014 will witness a huge influx of teams which have competed in the event in previous years, happy to join us in a festival of football.”

Mr Hutton pointed to the atmosphere created at the opening parade and said this carnival atmosphere will continue throughout the week.

“This parade brings together so many of our youth under the banner of sport – kids from the Shankill, kids from the Falls, kids from the Fountain, kids from the Bogside - kids of all colours, creeds, nationalities, all parade together under the banner of sport,” he said“

This viewpoint is also supported by the City’s Mayor, Martin O Reilly, who recognises that the Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup has become one of the most important youth football tournaments in Europe.

“Taking part in sport offers many benefits for our young people,” he said.

“Football brings people together as players, supporters and officials working to make each match a success. Meeting other players offers our young people opportunities to learning about other cultures and to sharing what is best about Northern Ireland. The Foyle Cup does so much to promote what is good about our city and its people. We are delighted with the numbers of visitors the event attracts to our city and it is truly a family orientated community festival of football.”

Brian McDowell, Head of Sales and Marketing at Hughes Insurance, tournament title sponsors, expressed his company’s delight in being involved in such a magnificent, family - orientated event.

“The Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup is a tournament Derry can be proud of. Hughes Insurance is incredibly proud to be associated with a prestigious tournament that is clearly the premier youth competition in Europe. Everyone involved with the Foyle cup – from the organisers, to the participating teams, should take credit for what has become a truly world class football tournament. As a local man I am immensely proud to be involved and look forward to welcoming all visiting teams to the Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup Event in 2014.”

The Foyle Cup tournament is supported annually by Derry City Council, Department of Culture Arts and Leisure, Sport N. Ireland, Dept for Social Development, Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Limavady Borough Council, Strabane District Council, Seagate