Staff from McDonald’s Coleraine swapped the restaurant for the football pitch recently when they won a national football competition against colleagues from across Northern Ireland.
The local heats of the 2014 McDonald’s Cup saw the staff from McDonald’s in Coleraine join 27 other teams from McDonald’s restaurants across Northern Ireland battle it out for a place in the UK final.
The event, which took place at Bangor’s Aurora Sports Complex, saw the Coleraine ladies, Jennie’s Angels, walk away with the ladies title for the second year in a row. They were joined on the winner’s podium by men’s team, Newry Knights.
Both teams will now go forward to the UK final at the recently-opened St George’s Park, home of the England national football team, where they’ll compete against teams from across the UK for a place in the Euro final in Germany.
The players from McDonald’s in Coleraine were joined at the Northern Ireland heats by goalkeeping legend and McDonald’s Head of Northern Ireland football, Pat Jennings.
Commenting on the competition, Pat Jennings said: “The McDonald’s Cup is always a hotly-contested tournament and this year was no different. It was great to attend the event and meet the teams from McDonald’s restaurants from across Northern Ireland.
“These restaurants do a lot for football in their communities through McDonald’s programmes like Match Funding and Club Twinning so it’s great to be able to offer them the chance to play in their own tournament for a shot at glory at St George’s Park.
“Everyone involved played with great spirit and I’d like to congratulate Newry Knights and Jennie’s Angels for winning their places in the UK final in April.”
The McDonald’s Cup is an important part of McDonald’s Community Partnership with the Irish FA; a partnership that is helping young players shine. The Partnership is delivering a lasting legacy for grassroots football through the KickStart grants programme, ongoing coach creation and education, the Club Accreditation Scheme, the regional Small Sided Games Centres and through the McDonald’s Irish FA Community Awards which recognise and rewards the unsung heroes of grassroots football and are open for nominations now at www.McDonalds.co.uk/Awards