Impressive international field for cup

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Teams from no fewer than 20 countries will compete at this summer’s Dale Farm Milk Cup.

Club America from Mexico are returning to contest the Premier event along with regulars Otago from New Zealand.

Peru’s Club Cantolao and Chile’s O’Higgins FC have signed up in the chase for Junior glory.

“We truly have an outstanding international flavour spreading from North and Central America into South America, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, Russia and Europe,” says tournament chairman Victor Leonard.

“I reckon this is one of the strongest line ups we have attracted in some time and the calibre of representatives is exceptionally high.”

Club America were attractive competitors last year and played their part in one of the tournament’s most exciting games, losing by the odd goal in five in a thrilling clash with SC Corinthians of Brazil who have switched to compete in the Junior competition this summer.

Last year the Otago squad played warm up matches in Los Angeles en route to Northern Ireland and this year games in Manchester are being organised by former Otago United coach, ex-Republic of Ireland, Manchester City, Chelsea and Everton defender Terry Phelan.

Meanwhile, New Zealand businessman Clarke Walker, son of former Irish FA president Sammy Walker, who introduced Otago to the tournament more than a decade ago, is no longer involved with the club, having moved to Fiji to live.

The Draw for the competition will take place from 10.45am at W5 in the Odyssey complex, on Tuesday, May 27. The opening parade through Coleraine is on Sunday, July 27, concluding with finals night on Friday, August 1.