The draw for the Junior and Premier section of the 2018 Super Cup NI was held yesterday evening at Belfast International Airport.
This year’s competition will see teams from 15 nations from across the globe represented at the competition.
In total 40 teams will compete in the U15 (Junior) and U17 (Premier) section at the tournament, which is scheduled to get underway at the end of July.
Crowd pullers Manchester United were the first name out of the hat and the Old Trafford youngsters have been placed in a tough group with Rangers FC, 2017 semi-finalists Club NI and County Londonderry.
There’s an all-county affair in Group C as County Fermanagh take on County Antrim, with Plymouth Argyle and Chivas Guadalajara from Mexico completing their group.
In the Premier section defending champions Right to Dream from Ghana will face the team they defeated in the final last July. They will take on Club America from Mexico and their group is completed by Scottish side Partick Thistle and County Tyrone.
Group E will see Russian outfit Spartak Moscow take on Brazilian side Osasco, County Antrim and County Fermanagh.
Tournament chairman Victor Leonard said the 2017 competition will live long in the memory, but he has high hopes of the 2018 competition exceeding those lofty heights.
“Our gate receipts at the 2017 competition were up by 20% and last year weather wise and football wise we witnessed one of the best competitions in years.
“We have been on an incredible journey and over the last 36 years we have witnessed quite a few changes.
“Everyone is really looking forward to a tremendous week of football.”
This year’s competition will see five different categories competed for – the U17 Premier section, the U15 Junior section, the U13 Minor section, a girls’ competition and the U19 Challenge game between Manchester United and Celtic, which will take place on Saturday, July 21 at the Coleraine Showgrounds.
JUNIOR DRAW –
Group A – Manchester United, Rangers FC, Club NI and County Londonderry
Group B – Charlton Athletic, Global Premier Soccer, Cherry Orchard and County Down.
Group C – Plymouth Argyle, Chivas Guadalajara, County Antrim and County Fermanagh.
Group D – Leeds United, Colina (Chile), Dundalk Schoolboys League and County Armagh.
Group E – Southampton, Strikers (America), North Dublin Schoolboys League and County Tyrone
PREMIER DRAW –
GROUP A – Vendee, Global Premier Soccer, Edmonton FC and County Londonderry
Group B – Partick Thistle, Club America, Right to Dream and County Tyrone.
Group C – Newcastle United, Iquique (Chile), Ichifuna and County Down
Group D – Serie B, First Choice Soccer, Otago and County Armagh.
Group E – Spartak Moscow, Osasco, County Antrim and County Fermanagh.