Northern Ireland football celebrations continued this week as McDonald’s Coleraine ladies team returned from France as runners-up in the European McDonald’s Cup.
The McDonald’s Coleraine store team reached the final of the tournament playing against Denmark, Switzerland, France and Belarus before losing to Italy in the final at Allianz Riviera Nice.
The tournament saw six a-side teams from 16 countries compete to for the European-wide trophy.
The Coleraine team began their journey earlier in the year, winning a regional heat involving teams from across Northern Ireland.
The team then qualified for the tournament in Nice, France after winning the UK McDonald’s Cup tournament which saw a record number of entries this year with over 650 teams.
The knockout stages saw more than 5000 players from across the UK play for a chance to travel to France for the finals and represent the UK.
The team then won the UK heats and their place in France following a tough finals contest at Hampden Park in May.
Team Captain, Kirstin Stevenson, from the McDonald’s Coleraine restaurant said: “The team have been a strong force since the very beginning and they haven’t let their standards drop throughout the entire tournament.
“The whole experience from start to finish has been amazing, I couldn’t be more proud of what we have achieved as a team, the girls won’t forget this day in a long time.
“Winning the European McDonald’s Cup will definitely be something we will shout about for a long time to come.”
McDonald’s Coleraine Franchisee Bruce Baillie added: “I am extremely proud of what my Coleraine ladies team has achieved.
“The whole team worked incredibly hard to prepare for the Euros and it was fantastic to see their efforts rewarded with a place in the tournament final.
“The team pulled together and worked incredibly hard to win, exactly as they do week in and week out in the restaurant.
The McDonald’s Cup is part of the McDonald’s Community Football Programme, an initiative aimed at raising the standards of grassroots football for players everywhere.
For more information on McDonald’s involvement with grassroots football go to www.mcdonalds.co.uk/betterplay