Waltham, MA, July 28th, 2018: Global Premier Soccer were represented in the United Kingdom this July in back to back tournaments held in Northern Ireland, first the O’Neil’s Foyle Cup from July 12-22 and then the SuperCupNI (formerly the Milk Cup) from July 18-28.
The O'Neil's Foyle Cup is an annual event that has been held in Derry City, Northern Ireland since 1992. The competition is considered one of the elite youth tournaments in the area, alongside the SuperCupNI held around the same time.
The Foyle Cup began with only 8 teams in its first iteration heavily focused on providing an opportunity for the youth of Northern Ireland to showcase their abilities.
As time has passed the level of competition on offer has expanded as well as the number of competitions in the field. Past versions of the tournament have hosted some of the top clubs from the United Kingdom such as Celtic and Aberdeen from Scotland, Fulham and from England and even teams from the continent like Werder Bremen of Germany and Montpellier of France.
Global Premier Soccer were represented in Northern Ireland by the 2005 Boys GPS National Team who put on a great show throughout the tournament.
They topped the group with 2 wins and a draw, winning against Oxford Utd’s youth team 5-0 before trouncing Red Star Roe 17-0 in the next game. Dungannon would provide a sterner test in the final group game with GPS eking out a 1-1 draw.
They would take care of their opponents in the quarterfinals and semifinals by the scores 3-0 and 5-0 respectively, setting up a meeting between them and Sheffield United.
Sheffield United, whose senior team currently plays in the Championship division of English soccer, are well known for their academy products. During the 2016/17 season, their academy graduates tallied the 7th most minutes played across the leagues, the only non-Premier League team to crack the Top 10.
England’s 2018 World Cup squad boasted two Sheffield Academy youth products in the form of both Kyle Walker and Harry Maguire, who represented The Blades over 100 times.
It was a tightly contested game with GPS earning themselves an early lead, however the English outfit would prove too much for the boys as they went on to lose by the score of 2-1 finishing as runners-up for the U13 division.
The SuperCupNI, formerly The Milk Cup, took place the following week and sees top teams from throughout the world come to compete. GPS were represented at both the Junior U15 and Premier U17 levels in the tournament.
The 2003 Boys team would win their opening game by the score of 4-0 but they would find the subsequent fixtures far more tough. They would draw 0-0 before losing a tough fought game against Cherry Orchard, a premier Irish club known for their production of competent youth players, 0-1.
The Boys would play an absolutely enthralling match up against Charlton Athletic that finished with them on the losing end of an incredible 3-4 scoreline.
There should be no shame associated with the hard-fought loss as Charlton Athletic, who currently play in the English 3rd division, are known for producing top level youth players with Liverpool’s Joe Gomez and recent RB Leipzig signee Ademola Lookman being two of the more recent.
The 2001 Boys would face similarly tough competition throughout the tournament with their only win coming in the opening game against First Choice Soccer 2-1. While the results may not have been exactly what the players were looking for but their hard work and determination to try and play an attractive and attacking brand of soccer earned them plaudits.
A list of former players to play at the SuperCupNI is testament to the level of competition at the event, with players of the like of Harry Kane, James Milner and even Radamel Falcao taking part. The event itself is so large in Northern Ireland that the BBC provides live coverage, complete with pundits and game analysis, for all to watch.
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For more information the GPS Premier program, please contact Matt Hardiman at firstname.lastname@example.org