Given believes youths have perfect football platform
A plethora of visiting scouts from English and Scottish Premier League clubs will be in attendance at the competition.
Commenting at the official launch of the 2014 international youth competition at City Hotel the Republic of Ireland international - who once starred in the local league with the Derry & District with Townsend Youth - believes the tournament can become an excellent pathway into professional football.
And the competition has certainly proved to be a major platform for local footballers in the past. Former players discovered at the event include the likes of Seamus Coleman, James McClean, Daniel Lafferty, Shane Ferguson and Darron Gibson to name but a few, Given who has represented Celtic, Man City, Newcastle, Aston Villa, heaped praise on the tournament for building a platform for so many players to launch their career at both club and international level
“It’s a massive honour for me to be asked to launch this tournament,” said Given.
“I know of the importance of this event to so many young footballers from all over Ireland and the part it has played in developing young players for International teams North and South.
“Young footballers in the city don’t have that many chances to show people what they can do and highlight their talents. Taking part in the Foyle Cup gives them the chance to show scouts from England and Scotland that they can play at a higher level. So it’s a massive opportunity for the young lads.”
Chairman of the organising committee, Michael Hutton, has been impressed at the growing numbers of teams taking part.
“I look forward to this competition every year, but particularly this year. It’s interesting to note that in a time of recession our numbers are actually up on last year. We had 132 teams three years ago; two years ago 164 teams; last year our City of Culture year 216 teams and this year our highest entry ever.”
The Foyle Cup tournament will take place in the Derry, Strabane and Limavady Council and surrounding areas from July 21st to 26th with a record 220 teams competing in this year’s event.
For more details of draw see website www.foylecup.com, www.facebook.com/foylecupfootball or phone 02871359734.