Manchester United U16s to play in Ballyclare

Manchester United’s U16 side will take on the Linfield FC Academy team at Ballyclare’s Dixon Park this week.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 11:44 am

The youth players from Old Trafford will be taking on the south Belfast club on Friday (July 30) in the final fixture in a run of three games during their time in Northern Ireland.

The matches were organised after the STATSports SuperCupNI Tournament 2021 had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chairman, Victor Leonard, said: “Despite the great disappointment of cancellation, we approached Manchester United and invited them to send a team to Northern Ireland to play a number of challenge games against local opposition.

Jim Sandford (SuperCupNI) with the Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Cllr Billy Webb and Ross Oliver (Linfield FC).

“They were delighted to accept the invitation and agreed for the under 16 team to make the journey to play three games. The result of so many weeks of hard work has resulted in these games taking place during the week commencing July 26, which was the date of this year’s tournament.”

“The final game of Manchester United’s tour will take place on July 30 at Dixon Park, which will be United’s first visit to Ballyclare Manchester United of course signed local Ballyclare lad and Northern Ireland International, Patrick McNair who played for the first team at Old Trafford.

“United’s opponents will be one of the academy teams from Irish League Champions, Linfield FC. Manager David Healy has put great emphasis on developing young players in their academy and this will be a great opportunity for the young Linfield team to play against one of the foremost teams from the English Premier League.”

The Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Cllr Billy Webb, added: “Whilst it is disappointing the full schedule of events for SuperCupNI is unable to take place, it’s great that the organisers have been able to secure such a fantastic team to play against some of our local home-grown talent.

“We are looking forward to welcoming the squad to our borough for their training session at our state-of-the-art football pitches at Allen Park and again when they take on Linfield in Ballyclare.

“Providing opportunities for young people to participate against Premiership teams demonstrates our commitment to the continued development of sporting talent within the borough. We are proud to lend our support to this prestigious event and wish the organisers and players every success for a safe and enjoyable tour in Northern Ireland.”

Manchester United’s other two games are today (Monday) at Portstewart where the opponents are Coleraine FC and on July 28 at The Showgrounds Ballymena, when Ballymena United will provide the opposition.

All three games have a 7pm kick of.


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