WHO ARE – MS Select?
Regular followers of the tournament will have noticed a few new names in this year’s Supercup NI draw. One new side that will be competing in both the Junior and Premier sections of the 2016 competition is MS Select – but who are they?
MS Select are based in New Zealand, and are a selection of the best players from the Auckland area – a city of over 1 million people on the North Island of the country. This year we’ll also be welcoming back our long-term friends from the South Island’s Otago area, making 2016 the first year that two sides from New Zealand have participated in the tournament.
MS Select got involved in this year’s competition through AM Sports Tours, whose Managing Director Austin MacPhee is assistant coach for Northern Ireland’s national team, recently returned from their heroics at the Euro 2016 finals. Both MS Select sides will be given the proper SuperCup experience, with fixtures against sides from Japan, Northern Ireland, Zambia, Columbia and Scotland in store.
Given that the teams have over 11,000 miles to travel to reach the shores of Northern Ireland, they are planning to make a few stops on the way as part of their preparations for the intense tournament week. This will include spells in Barcelona and London to take part in friendly matches, train with professional coaches and do some sightseeing. And as for the experience of taking part in the SuperCup NI? Stephen Gilfillan of AM Sports Tours suggests that “the experience for the players will be valuable for their personal and collective development. Several have aspirations of playing overseas, and having the opportunity to experience the quality and diversity of styles will provide a valuable and realistic benchmark.”
Written by Graeme McClure
MS Select fixtures:
Monday 25th July
MS Select Juniors vs County Tyrone @ Rugby Avenue, Coleraine (1.30pm kick-off)
MS Select Premiers vs Ichifuna @ Parker Avenue, Portrush (5.00pm kick-off)
Tuesday 26th July
MS Select Juniors vs Alset Columbia @ Riada Stadium (2), Ballymoney (Noon kick-off)
MS Select Premiers vs Lusaka @ Clough, Ballymena (3.30pm kick-off)
Wednesday 27th July
MS Select Juniors vs Rangers @ Seahaven, Portstewart (5.00pm kick-off)
MS Select Premiers vs County Down @ Riada Stadium, Ballymoney (7.00pm kick-off)