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Chairman hosts reception for Fermanagh Super Cup squads and Ballinamallard FC U-13’s

5th October 2018

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On 24 September, Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Howard Thornton hosted a reception in recognition of the Fermanagh Super Cup squads and Ballinamallard Football Club Under 13’s who represented the County at the 2018 NI Super Cup competition.

Speaking at the reception, Councillor Thornton said, “As Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, I am delighted to welcome you all to the Fermanagh Lakeland Forum to this evening’s reception.  I would like to extend a particularly warm welcome to the players of the County Fermanagh Junior and Premier teams and Ballinamallard United U-13’s who represented Fermanagh with such distinction in this year’s Northern Ireland Super Cup.

The Super Cup, in its various guises, has long been regarded as the premier youth tournament in Europe and has consistently attracted top clubs from the United Kingdom, Europe, North and South America, Africa and the far east.  This year is the 35th year of the Premier tournament and past winners have included such prominent clubs as Liverpool, Barcelona and Manchester United together with the national teams of Russia and Turkey.

The Junior tournament, which was first played for in 1985 has been won by the likes of West Ham, Everton and Manchester City.  A look at some of the Golden boot winners and Players of the Tournament is very impressive and there is no reason why you should not aspire to emulate these players through your participation in the Milk Cup.

Indeed the Manchester United team which won the Premier competition in 1991 featured players who would go on to become household names like Beckham, Scholes, Neville, Gillespie, Giggs and Butt.  Add to that list, a certain Wayne Rooney who  starred for the Everton junior team in 2000 and Joe Cole, formerly of West Ham, Chelsea and Liverpool, who was twice Junior player of the tournament.  So it is fair to say that the Northern Ireland Super Cup has been the first international stepping stone for some of the top international footballers in Europe. Who knows, perhaps some of you may join the illustrious list of Milk Cup graduates to make an impact in the professional ranks.

This year, County Fermanagh had the honour of leading the parade at the opening ceremony which was a tremendous honour.  I also was afforded the opportunity to attend the second round robin games as a guest of the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and was introduced to the teams prior to the start of the Junior and Premier games against County Antrim in Broughshane.

This was the first year of the Minor (U-13) competition and Ballinamallard United represented the county with great skill and determination finishing a creditable 3rd in the Globe competition having won one of their three group games. The boys performed admirably and I know that your coach, Stuart Magee, must have been delighted with your performance.

The County Fermanagh Junior team under the management of Ally Irwin, performed very well also drawing with Plymouth Argyle and losing to Co Antrim and Chivas from Mexico. This qualified the team for the subsidiary Salver competition finishing a creditable 4th.

The senior team under head coach Scott Robinson, also performed admirably drawing with the NI National select and losing to County Antrim and Audax. They too qualified for the Salver competition and went on to secure that trophy with a 2-0 win over Chilean team, Desportes.

It is to your credit that you returned home with silverware in the face of such top quality opposition and you have been wonderful ambassadors for your clubs, your county and your district. We are very proud of the way you performed and represented Fermanagh both on and off the field. I would like to wish you every success for the future.”.