County Tyrone Premier manager David Harvey could be forgiven for thinking the ‘footballing gods’ may not be in their favour as they received another tough draw in the U17 section.
The ‘Red Hands’ will take on last year’s winners Right to Dream from Ghana, last year’s runners-up Club America from Mexico and Scottish Academy outfit Partick Thistle in a compelling Group B.
Harvey, who is now in his second year as Tyrone U17 manager said he is getting used to these sort of intriguing challenges at the competition.
“Last year we played the last two winners in O’Higgins and County Antrim and to be honest O’Higgins were one of the best teams I’ve seen at the competition last summer.
“All three of the teams are well established Academy sides and each team will provide us with a different challenge.
“We are going into this group with nothing to lose and our players want to be tested in a strong group against talented players from across the world.”
Tyrone open the competition on Monday afternoon against Club America in the Coleraine Showgrounds, before taking on Right to Dream in Portstewart and their group concludes with a trip to Ballymena to face Partick Thistle.
Harvey said his side are capable of competing with anyone and said there is a really positive attitude among his 18-man squad.
“Since we named our 18 the players have been absolutely brilliant and 100% committed to playing for Tyrone at such a prestigious tournament.
“I started the process by scouting potential players from Halloween onwards and we had trials in February, before naming our squad about 8 weeks ago.
“This is a really good group of players and there are no cliques or individuals, everyone is united and can’t wait for the first game next Monday.”
Tyrone’s Junior side have also been handed a tricky draw in the U15 section.
Martin Gallagher’s side get their competition underway against Premier League side Southampton. On Tuesday they take on North Dublin Schoolboys before concluding their qualifying campaign with a clash against Californian regulars Strikers FC.
Monday, July 23 – Tyrone v Club America – Coleraine Showgrounds – 2pm
Tuesday, July 24 – Tyrone v Right to Dream – Seahaven, Portstewart – 7pm
Wednesday, July 25 – Tyrone v Partick Thistle – Ballymena Showgrounds – 7pm
Monday, July 23 – Tyrone v Southampton – Anderson Park – 3.30pm
Tuesday, July 24 – Tyrone v North Dublin Schoolboys League – Clough – 3.30pm
Wednesday, July 25 – Tyrone v Strikers FC – Broughshane – 1.30pm