03 Jun NIFBA Clubs Ready for Success at the Champions Cup
Last week we told our readers about the ongoing preparations for the Champions Cup, to be held later this year at Armagh City FC. With the SFAI representatives all confirmed we now look north of the border to the NIFBA teams who will compete in December’s stellar competition.
As you all surely know, the Champions Cup hosts the winners of both of the SFAI and NIFBA top league’s for under-12, under-13, under-14 and under-15 age groups. Joining the SFAI’s Cherry Orchard in the under-12 section this winter will be Glentoran, a club synonymous with Northern Irish soccer.
The Northern Irish outfit are a semi-professional club hailing from Belfast, with their senior side playing at The Oval. With the SFAI sides ruling close to a monopoly of success at the Champions Cup in recent years, Glentoran will surely have extra motivation to buck the trend and bring back success to NIFBA later this year.
The under-13 section meanwhile has yet to be decided, with either Dungannon or the aforementioned Glentoran yet to book their place at the Champions Cup. One of Dungannon or Glentoran will take on Belvedere FC, who will represent the SFAI in this section. Dungannon will hope to represent Co. Tyrone, should they beat Glentoran to the league, which is yet to be decided.
Meanwhile, the under-14 section will see the famous Linfield represent NIFBA, and will take on the SFAI’s St. Joseph’s Boys. The fixture is one of particular interest and intrigue, with both outfits meeting in the past two years in the Champions Cup, with both victories going to St. Joseph’s Boys following slender 1-0 victories. Spectators will wonder whether it’s third time lucky for the side who play at Northern Ireland’s Windsor Park.
Finally, for the eldest section, under-15’s, we have another club synonymous with Northern Irish soccer in Cliftonville. Cliftonville are of course based in Belfast, alongside the aforementioned NIFBA representatives Glentoran and Linfield. Cliftonville will get to take on St. Kevin’s Boys in the Champions Cup, perhaps the most well known SFAI club in this year’s competition.
The Champions Cup remains many months away, but for the players – and indeed coaching staff – thoughts will soon turn toward this winter’s competition. Scouts from many clubs across England will be in attendance, with the Champions Cup providing the perfect opportunity for these boys from across the island of Ireland to showcase their talents.
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