Friday, May 25, 2012

Spurs' Opponents in NI Milk Cup 2012

The draw fro the NI Milk Cup was made today at the BBC Blackstaff studio in Belfast.  Spurs are playing in the Premier Section which has twenty teams and is a competition which they have won twice and in which they finished fifth last year.

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".

Premier Section:
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) 
KO: 2pm (probably)

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)
(The venues for these two games will be announced later)

Spurs' Opponents:
County Armagh
Spurs have played a local County team in their last two Milk Cup tournamentsThe local sides usually give a good account of themselves.  In 2010, they defeated Londonderry by four goals to nil in their opening match and had a more difficult game than the score suggests.  Last year it was Fermanagh who gave them a difficult match.  Spurs were a goal down at half-time and only two goals from Kenneth McEvoy in the last ten minutes earned Spurs the points.

South Coast Strikers (USA)
Spurs played South Coast Strikers from California twice last year.  They met in the third match of the tournament and the 1-2 defeat suffered by Spurs denied them the opportunity to play in the play-offs for 1st - 4th.  They were a strong, well organised team and took an early lead last year.  Spurs fought back to draw level but after much pressure from Spurs, SCS scored late on the win the match.

The teams then met in the play-off for 5th and 6th place with Spurs winning a penalty shoot-out after a 1 - 1 draw.

Otago (NZ)
Spurs played Otaga in the opening match of last year's competition and won 4 - 0.  Dominic Ball who has Northern Ireland family connections, scored twice for Spurs who made an impressive start to the competition.

Following the opening three matches the places determine the play-off spots (1st - 4th/5th - 8th etc)

Spurs to Play in Milk Cup 2012:  Report

Spurs at the Milk Cup in 2011:  Report

Spurs at the Milk Cup 2010:  Report


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