County teams not there to make up the numbers

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COUNTY Londonderry Junior coacy David Reid believes the local sides can continue to impress at this year’s competition.

The County teams have always given their best against some of the biggest names in world football, but now they’re starting to get the results. And Reid believes a team could go all the way.

“There is nothing to say a county team can’t get into the final or win the competition,” he said.

“I have been on our Milk Cup committee since the county teams started at junior level in 1998, and things have been improving a lot since then.

“The level of coaching is higher, and the belief and expectaions are growing all the time, certainly at junior level.

“The whole outlook of parents is different now too – they know they are sending their children to be involved in a highly competitive team, and they see it as a shop window for them.”

Premier manager Gary Faulkner though feels his team are facing a more daunting proposition. For the second year in a row they must take on Russian giants CSKA Moscow.

“We’ve a very, very tough draw,” he said. “I thought we prepared well ahead of last year’s Milk Cup, but Moscow beat us 6-0 on the Monday. Any improvement we make on that this year would have to be good for us.

“Then on Tuesday, we play the best team in the world... the winners of the World Club Cup, Corinthians.

““But whatever age you are, getting to represent your county at the Milk Cup is a real honour and we’ll give it our best shot.”