The NI Milk Cup commences on Saturday, 21st July and today the draw was made for the first three matches. The tournament is in its thirtieth year and was described as 'the premier youth tournament in Europe" by local commentator, Jackie Fullerton. Among the special guests at today's draw was Michael O'Neill, the Northern Ireland manager, and two internationals who have played in the competition in their earlier days, Corry Evans of Hull City and Andy Little of Rangers. A South American delegate from FIFA was also present, Harold Mayne-Nicholls from Chile. He spoke of the quality of the tournament making it easy to attract South American teams to the competition. The Chairman of the Dairy Council Northern Ireland, the main sponsor of the tournament for many years, referred to the NI Milk Cup as "one of the best youth tournaments in the world".
Spurs are playing in the Premier Section for players born on or after 1st January, 1995.
The twenty teams taking part are:
The six local County teams: Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Antrim, Tyrone and Londonderry.
Otago (New Zealand), South Coast Strikers (USA), Revo Express (Norway), Pachuca (Mexico), Desportivo Brazil, Ichfuna (Japan), CSKA Moscow, Bolton Wanderers, Benfica (Portugal), Etoile Lusitana (Senegal), Cherry Orchard (Republic of Ireland), Manchester United, Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur.
Spurs' Premier Section Fixtures:
Saturday, 21st July, 2012: v County Armagh (venue: Shamrock Park, Portadown)
This year the six local County teams are playing their first game at a venue in their own county before the tournament returns on the Monday to its traditional North coast venues. This was first done to mark the twenty first anniversary of the competition and is being repeated this year to mark its thirtieth anniversary.
Monday, 23rd July, 2012: v South Coast Strikers (USA) (Evening KO)
Tuesday, 24th July, 2012: v Otago (NZ) (Evening KO)