The 2017 Super Cup NI saw the boys from County Antrim create history, as they became the first county side to ever win the U15 Junior crown.
And if the Antrim side are to follow in the footsteps of the likes of West Ham United, Right to Dream and Everton and reclaim the Junior crown, they will have to come through a tricky group which includes an Ulster derby!
Antrim, who of course are one of the host counties, will take on County Fermanagh, English regulars Plymouth Argyle and slick Mexican side Chivas Guadalajara if they are to get their hands on the Junior title come Friday, July 27.
Much of the attention in the Junior draw will fall upon Group A which is made up of crowd pullers Manchester United, Scottish regulars Rangers FC, Club NI and County Londonderry.
Club NI, whose 2017 side finished 4th despite playing a ‘year young’ at the competition will no doubt have plenty to say in that compelling group. Indeed, some of the Club NI squad will line out for County Londonderry and it will certainly be a group that will attract the crowds and plenty of entertaining football.
Charlton Athletic returned to the tournament for the first time since the early noughties and they will take on last year’s runners up Global Premier Soccer from USA, long term supporters Cherry Orchard from Dublin and a talented County Down side.
Leeds United will also make their return to these shores at the end of July and the Yorkshire outfit will be backed by a large number of local supporters. They take their place in Group D alongside Colina from Chile, the Dundalk Schoolboys League and County Armagh, who have regularly been top ten finishers in the U15 section over the last few years.
Tournament regulars Southampton ended Manchester United’s dreams of a first ever Junior title success last summer and the St Mary’s youngsters are joined in Group E by Californian outfit Strikers FC, North Dublin Schoolboys and local contenders County Tyrone.
The action gets underway on Monday, July 22 with the first group games and each of the 20 teams will have dreams of taking their place in the final of the Junior section on Friday, July 27!
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