United set for Milk Cup challenge

Milk Cup crowd pullers Manchester United will have dates in Coleraine, Limavady and Ballymena this summer.

The Red Devils, coached by Paul McGuinness, have blooded some well known names at the tournament over the years with Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck among the most recent batch to progress to the first team at Old Trafford.

United, with four Premier title wins to their credit from ten final appearances, look on the Milk Cup as a key testing ground not only of players’ abilities but also their temperament and character on a week away from home in a testing tournament environment.

With an opening game against County Antrim in the Premier event at Ballymena Showgrounds on Monday, July 29, the Red Devils arrive at Coleraine Showgrounds to face California’s South Coast Strikers on the Tuesday and meet German side TuS Altenberge at Limavady’s Scroggy Road the following evening.

Milk Cup chairman Victor Leonard says: “With Liverpool, Brazilian giants SC Corinthians, CSKA Moscow, Newcastle United and several other top sides from Chile and Mexico, the Premier event will be closely contested this year.”

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill is also looking forward to watching the Elite side in action against Denmark at Coleraine Showgrounds on July 29.

“The opening game is always a test and its important to perform well,” he says. “I hope the fans will come out and support us as well as they have in the past.

“The Milk Cup is a massive competition for our players and the backing we have had over the years is fantastic.

“It means so much to the lads and with tough games against the USA and Mexico to follow it will provide excellent competition at the highest level.”