Real Sociedad, the Spanish club with one of Europe’s most progressive and successful youth academies, will make a debut at this summer’s Dale Farm Milk Cup.
Manager David Moyes, a long time supporter of the Northern Ireland international youth football tournament, has confirmed to organisers that he will send a side to contest the Premier competition.
The tournament has also attracted another La Liga club with Malaga agreeing to test the waters in the same section.
Real Sociedad are famous across Europe for the high standard of their academy and Malaga have promised they too will bring their best prospects at this level.
Dale Farm, Northern Ireland’s largest dairy company, are again backing the event and their commercial director, Jason Hempton, says: The Dale Farm Milk Cup continues to attract the world’s most promising young football stars to Northern Ireland. Securing two high profile Spanish teams is a major coup for the tournament.
Also in the Premier line up are Chilean outfit O’Higgins who have sent entertaining squads to the Dale Farm Milk Cup in the past.
“The exciting brand of football they play is indicative of the talent in Chile,” says Dale Farm Milk Cup chairman Victor Leonard. “The club is a massive one and among the most successful in the country. They place a high emphasis on their youth structures and continuing to test their players at our event is important to their coaches.”
The Dale Farm Milk Cup begins with the traditional parade of competing teams through Coleraine on Sunday, July 26, concluding with finals night at Ballymena Showgrounds on Friday, July 31.
In addition to title sponsors Dale Farm, the Dale Farm Milk Cup is supported by the Causeway Coast and Glens Council, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Tourism Northern Ireland and DCAL, with BBC Sport NI as broadcast partners.