County Tyrone react to SuperCupNI 2017 Draw
Journalist Sam Gamble gets County Tyrone's reaction to their draw for this year's SuperCupNI
County Tyrone's Premier side will face a tough test of their credentials at SuperCupNI 2017 as they take on the champions of 2015 and 2016 in the qualifying stages.
David Harvey's charges will take on Chinese newcomers Beijing Morning Star United on the opening day, before facing reigning champions O'Higgins on Tuesday and concluding their qualifying campaign with a Northern Irish derby against 2015 winners County Antrim.
Harvey acknowledged it is a difficult draw on paper but said his team aren't phased by the challenge.
“We've drawn the last two winners and it looks tough, but teams change every year and we won't know how strong O'Higgins are until they play their first game.
“I'd expect them to be strong and they have brought over some good teams in the past.”
Harvey, who is taking on his first role at the competition, said his squad were delighted with the draw.
“We are capable of playing and competing against anyone and even before the draw the players weren't too worried about who they got.
“Over the duration of the week we want the players to perform and showcase what they can do.
“It is an incredible opportunity and it is a great opportunity to play against different countries and try and impress scouts from clubs across the water throughout the week.
“We have a well-balanced squad and yes it looks tough, but we aren't phased by that at all!”
Harvey said that their preparations are in full swing and he paid tribute to the commitment of the players and their parents.
“The club season is over and the attendance at training has been brilliant.
“We've not missed a session yet and the parents have been very co-operative and keen to work with us.
“We have had a few friendlies recently and we have a few more in the pipeline. Everyone has been brilliant so far, from the committee to the players, the parents and the recreation and leisure centres that we have been using for our base for training and matches.”
In the Junior draw, Martin Gallagher's Junior side have three intriguing clashes, with their stand out tie a spicy derby clash with Londonderry on Wednesday.
The Red Hands will open the competition with a game against tournament regulars Plymouth Argyle.
On Tuesday, they will take on MS Sports from New Zealand. The Kiwi select side took on Tyrone in the opening game last year and were narrowly defeated by 1-0 thanks to an Adam Young penalty.
On day three, Tyrone will face a derby tie against County Londonderry.
*Credit, Sam Gamble