‘Best Ever’ O’Neills Foyle Cup finishes with a flourish

A section of the large crowd who turned out at Brandywell on Saturday for the O’Neills Foyle Cup Finals day.

O’Neills Foyle Cup finished on a high this weekend and has already been hailed as the most
successful yet.

As the largest youth soccer tournament on the island, a total of 424 teams took part in the 2019 competition, with a wider representation than ever before including more female participants in more age groups than previous years, as well as the inclusion of a sports with disability category.

Thousands of players came from across Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, the UK, Europe and the USA to compete in over sixteen categories.

The tournament took place over six days all around the North West with matches played on pitches throughout Derry, Strabane, Donegal and Limavady. Many of the teams and officials stayed in the area for the duration, giving a boost to the local economy with overnight stays and eating out.

As one of the most important events in the calendar for those involved in hospitality and tourism, O’Neills Foyle Cup regularly ensures high occupancy rates throughout the week of the competition and this year was no exception.

The event doesn’t just give the boys and girls involved the chance to impress their families and friends with their footballing skills, it’s also an opportunity for them to catch the eye of one of the many talent scouts attending the tournament on behalf of most of the major clubs in the UK.

This year representatives from the Premier League, Championship and Scotland amongst others, travelled to the area to see if they could spot the next rising star.

O’Neills Foyle Cup chairman, Michael Hutton, paid tribute to all those who helped make this year’s event better than ever. He said, “We have been going since 1992 and this has been our best year ever. The income generated from O’Neills Foyle Cup is in the region of £2 million, giving an enormous and vital cash injection into the economy of Derry and the wider region. Once again the feedback we have received from visiting clubs is a testament to the warm and friendly welcomes they have received everywhere they have gone, with a high standard of service and a high quality of accommodation and hospitality in general.”

“The teams have reported back to me that the level of football, the standard of the pitches, the professionalism of all the volunteers involved in O’Neills Foyle Cup make this exactly the kind of competitive but friendly footballing tournament they want to bring their teams to and many have already expressed an interest in next year’s event.”

Kieran Kennedy, Managing Director of O’Neills Irish International Sports Company,
acknowledged all those who had worked so hard on delivering another successful event for
the North West region.

He said, “O'Neills as a local company are proud to support this tournament which enjoys a huge global reach. Full credit to the organisers and volunteers as their dedication and hard work helps ensure the O’Neills Foyle Cup continues to grow year on year and we look forward to welcoming thousands of young footballers to the region again next year.”

The event is sponsored by O’Neills Irish International Sports Company Ltd, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Department for Communities, The Executive Office, Tourism NI, Seagate, Inner City Trust, Ulster University, Brunswick Moviebowl and Derry Credit Union.

Full details of the all the results can be found on the website: www.foylecup.com
Shop the exclusive O’Neills Foyle Cup range at www.oneills.com or by visiting the O’Neills
Superstore, Waterloo Place, Derry.