Northend United Youth’s Slemish Cup competition hailed as huge success

Action from the meeting between Ballymena United Youth Academy and Northend United Youth at the Slemish Cup.
Action from the meeting between Ballymena United Youth Academy and Northend United Youth at the Slemish Cup.

Northend United’s annual youth football tournament, the Slemish Cup, proved to be another outstanding success at the weekend.

Twenty-four teams and 240 boys and girls battled out in the top youth tournament with Belfast side, East Belfast Juniors, coming out as overall winners in the keenly fought competition.

Northend United who competed in the Slemish Cup tournament on the Showgrounds 3G pitch.

Northend United who competed in the Slemish Cup tournament on the Showgrounds 3G pitch.

The tournament included teams from all over Northern Ireland and this year we welcomed Shankhill Boys from Dublin.

Many teams were using this tournament as preparation for the Foyle Cup and almost all expressed their desire to return again same time next year for will be an even bigger and better tournament.

The format of the day seen 4 groups of six, with semi finals for everyone that finished in positions in the group to progress onto finals, so plenty of football for all.

We had 112 goals, penalties, 78 matches and six eventual winners. Special mention goes to Michael McClean who won the Wes Gregg Player of the Tournament.

One of the teams from host club Northend United Youth, pictured at the Slemish Cup tournament.

One of the teams from host club Northend United Youth, pictured at the Slemish Cup tournament.

The complete list of prizewinners was:

Slemish Cup - East Belfast Juniors

Plate - Bertie Peacocks

Shield - Ballymoney Academy

Rosebowl - Northend Youth

Vase - East Belfast Colts

Friendship cup - Larne Colts

It was a big honour for the Northend Youth team to win the Rosebowl competition, with manager Peter Kennedy full of praise for his young team. “The team have been steadily progressing throughout the season” Kennedy added “ and this win is a fitting end to their season”

Northend would like to thank Essential Designs from Castledawson who were the main tournament sponsors and whose generosity made the tournament possible.

Many people contributed to make this a special and well run competition and the Club would like to go on record to thank the 8 referees who volunteered on the day,. Thanks also goes to Sammy McCaig for his photographic services and also to the entire Showgrounds staff, especially Barney and Declan, who all made this a well organised day.

The last word of thanks from Northend United goes to the tournament organiser Ally McGarry, who not only had the vision to establish this competition last year but also to further expand the tournament to 24 teams participation this year and put Northend United on the map as a Club that could manage a 1-day tournament of this magnitude.

“I’m delighted the day went so well with all the hard work we put into it” declared Ally “and many teams expressed their thanks for their invitation to play in this competition and have already said they can’t wait until next year for the same again. Hopefully the competition will be even bigger and better next year.

BLACKBURN ROVERS COMMUNITY TRUST

Northend United are delighted to welcome the Blackburn Rovers Coaching Staff back to the Showgrounds on Monday 15th and Tuesday 16th August for the second in the planned series of football skills development workshops for the ambitious Ballymena based Club.

As the partnership between Blackburn Rovers and Northend continues to blossom and develop, the Club are looking forward to this pre-season coaching session.

COACH DEVELOPMENT PATHWAY

Are you an ambitious individual, male or female, who is interested in taking the first step onto the football coaching ladder? If so, then Northend United is the Club for you.

As a new coach you will embark on our Club’s ‘Coach Development Pathway’, which consists of guided practical experience under one of our senior coaches, in Club training and formal coaching qualifications.