United Academy kids savour Foyle Cup debut

The Ballymena United Under 11 Foyle Cup team pictured with their sponsor Gus McConville, of the Tullyglass House Hotel. INBT31-201AC
The Ballymena United Under 11 Foyle Cup team pictured with their sponsor Gus McConville, of the Tullyglass House Hotel. INBT31-201AC

In their debut at the Foyle cup, Ballymena United Youth Academy under 11’s ended their week of football on a positive note.

Davy Douglas’ side claimed the Globe trophy in their age section at the Hughes Insurance-sponsored tournament.

The boys had faced one of the toughest groups featuring a number of select district sides but still put on some good performances and on the Thursday they had two successes, notably a high scoring win over Institute to progress to Fridays final.

Another good victory was to follow against Phoenix FC to clinch the trophy, two goals in the final coming from Lewis Tennant and one from Joe Blair.

A long week of travelling and playing out of their comfort zone for the boys but a superb learning curve which they will take forward in their young footballing careers.

The Ballymena side’s packed itinerary also included a return to Ballymena during the week where they performed ballboy duties at Dwayne Nelson’s testimonial match against a Glasgow Rangers XI.

And there was further contact with the Ibrox contingent later in the week when the Ballymena boys were treated to a closed training session by Rangers boss Ian Durrant, ahead of the Glagow side’s second match of their tour, against Coleraine.

Another highlight included having one of their Foyle Cup games refereed by former United legend Dessie Loughery!

Davy Douglas has thanked everyone who helped make the trip to the north west such a success, particularly Tullyglass House Hotel for their sponsorship.

Meanwhile, closer to home a mixture of under 16’s and under 17’s faced Shankill on the Showgrounds 3g on Tuesday evening before the senior friendly against Rangers.

A confident display from the boys who recorded a 2-0 victory after only returning to pre season training.

A much stiffer test was to follow on Friday evening as both sides faced the OC Blues from California who were playing their last friendly before they begin their Milk Cup campaign.

The American junior and senior sides have been building up to this week over the last three months and were in superb physical shape, in the end this was a great pre season workout for the local boys who thoroughly enjoyed the occasion.

The United 13’s face their under 14 Lisburn league side this Wednesday evening at Wakehurst in a pre season game, all boys are asked to report for 6.45pm