United hopes of Liverpool date dashed by Crues’ Euro draw
Ballymena United’s hopes of landing an unexpected place in a glamour pre-season football tournament in the town have been dealt a blow.
The tournament, hosted by Crusaders FC, but taking place at Ballymena Showgrounds in late July is also scheduled to include a Liverpool XI, Heart of Midlothian and Spanish side Celta Vigo.
If Crusaders progress to the second round of the Europa League their second round tie would be the same week as the Showgrounds tournament. However, the Seaview side were drawn against Norwegian giants Rosenborg in yesterday’s (Monday) draw, making progress to the next stage unlikely.
Times Sport understands that contingency plans are already in place for Ballymena to replace their fellow Irish League team if that improbable scenario transpires and with the draw for the tournament having already taken place, the Sky Blues would be in line to face the Anfield side.
Ballymena were due to be taking part in a different pre-season tournament in Larne that same week but that even has now been shelved, with Ballymena now due to travel to Inver Park for a one-off game on Saturday, July 27 (3pm). Another change to United’s pre-season schedule sees the proposed trip to Letterkenny on July 13 axed, with United now travelling instead to Dublin to take on junior outfit Ballymun United.
Supporters are reminded that the club’s ‘early purchase’ incentive for next season’s season tickets ends this Sunday, June 30.