By Sahr Morris Jnr.
Coach of Craig Bellamy Foundation (CBF), Johnny McKinstry, has said he is pleased to have escaped South American opponents in this year’s summer Dale Farm Milk Cup tournament which will be hosted in the United Kingdom.
The CBF, who are newcomers in the tournament, will face County Down and Patrick Thistle, whilst County Tyrone has been pitted against big-name European side Benfica of Portugal and Club America from Mexico.
McKinstry admitted it will be difficult for his boys as first-timers in the tournament because they are set to face different culture, opponents and the weather but he was however pleased with the draw.
He said: “I am pleased enough with the draw as I wanted to avoid the South American teams at the early stage of the tournament. I am content with the draw and we are looking forward to give the boys an opportunity.”
McKinstry added: “Facilitating our boys to play against some of the best young players in the world is not only an important part of their own development as elite players, but is important in the development of the CBF academy and elite player development in Sierra Leone as a whole.
“For most of our boys this will be their first trip outside Africa and an amazing chance to represent their country in one of the world’s most exciting youth football tournaments.”
Over 65 countries have been represented in 32 years of the event.
In the 2002 FIFA World Cup, there were 30 players who had played in the Milk Cup as youth players. Stars who had played in the competition include David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Wayne Rooney, and a range of others.