The SuperCupNI, which is renowned as one of the best elite youth football tournaments in Europe, will celebrate its 40th anniversary this summer.
Some of the biggest teams in the UK and further afield will descend upon Northern Ireland this summer, with the likes of Manchester United, Newcastle United, Rangers, West Ham and Brighton and Hove Albion all sending their latest crop of talent to compete at the tournament.
Cllr Wallace said: “This is a milestone year for the tournament and I know the organisers have exciting plans in store to ensure that this will be one of the most memorable in the its history.
“The SuperCupNI is a fantastic showcase for the area – there is a global interest in this tournament and that gives the Causeway Coast and Glens magnificent exposure and Council is thrilled to be associated with it.
“It is undoubtedly one of the jewels in the crown of the Northern Irish tourism industry, attracting huge numbers of visitors every year, providing a major boost for local accommodation providers and generating millions of pounds for our local economy.
“For many teams, particularly local sides, this tournament is an opportunity to test their best players against others from across the world. We have seen time and again how the tournament gives promising young players a unique platform to showcase their talents and propel them on to the next stage of their career.”
The tournament began in the 1980s when Coleraine man Victor Leonard, local youth football administrator Jim Weir and the late great former NI and Celtic midfielder Bertie Peacock met for the very first time to establish a youth football tournament on the tourist hotspot that is the North Coast.
One of the players who started his footballing career in the SuperCupNI was Euro 2016 star and Glentoran forward Niall McGinn, who joined the Mayor at Cloonavin for last night’s draw.
McGinn said: “I have some fantastic memories from playing at the tournament and it helped to stand me in good stead and gave me the belief and confidence that I could perform at the highest level.
“The SuperCupNI offers a unique experience for local players, and it can help you to launch your career and give you the platform from which to go on and achieve whatever you want to set your mind to. It is a really special tournament and it is so well regarded.
“Throughout my career, I have been in dressing rooms with players from across the UK and when they hear about where you come from, the first thing they talk about is the tournament. That shows you how prestigious it is and how well regarded it is within the game.”
The 2023 tournament kicks off on Sunday, July 23 with the welcoming ceremony in Coleraine and concludes with finals day on Friday, July 28. Matches will be played across three council areas; Causeway Coast and Glens, Mid and East Antrim and Antrim and Newtownabbey.
For the full results of the SuperCupNI draw, please visit www.supercupni.com