Nicky Butt has SuperCupNI date in Coleraine
Manchester United legend Nicky Butt will open the STATSports SuperCupNI international youth tournament in Coleraine on Sunday.
Butt, who was a winner at the event as a young United player back in 1991, says it is a massive honour to be involved in the competition once again.
“I have such happy memories of my last visit when we were successful and I know the class of 2019 will enjoy the competition too,” he said.
“Manchester United has a long and proud association with the competition.”
Butt, promoted to United's head of first team development this week, will be joined by former Old Trafford team mate Quinton Fortune, now a coach in the club’s Under-23 set up.
Fortune is looking forward to a rousing reception when he joins the parade of teams through Coleraine town centre on Sunday night.
He is looking after United’s young hopefuls in the Junior tournament next week.
Up until the reshuffle at United, Butt was head of the club's Academy. Now he will report to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the new role.
Butt is sure to be a popular visitor this weekend just as Solskjaer was when he opened the SuperCupNI in 2008.
When the ex-England international midfielder was in United’s Premier tournament win 28 years ago, alongside him in a final victory over Scottish club Hearts were David Beckham, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Keith Gillespie.
He says: "Manchester United is in my DNA. I am very proud to still be involved in the club I love."
Butt, who made 387 appearances for United, adds: “I am passionate about nurturing, developing and coaching the talent we have here to become top players at this club."
Competitors from across the globe will parade through Coleraine on Sunday night, arriving at the Showgrounds where Butt will unfurl the tournament flag.
Newcomers this year include Arsenal and Valencia, with Celtic, Rangers, Newcastle United and Leeds United involved plus previous Junior and Premier champions Right to Dream from Ghana.
County Antrim, Junior finalists four times in the last six years, will be attempting to win the title for a record third successive year.