The cream of Ireland’s young soccer talent began their assault on the Macron Galway Cup yesterday which takes place in Drom over the next five days.
The tournament, which boats teams from Ireland, Britain, Finland, Norway, and for the first time Ukraine, has been extended by an additional day this year to include a four team u-19 elite section boasting Cork City, Limerick, Derry City and the hosts Salthill Devon.
Played over five days, more than 50 teams from six countries are involved, culminating in the annual presentation on Sunday.
This year’s u- 15 Elite Cup group features Republic of Ireland, Arvoll IL from Norway, Macabbi Haifa from Israel, Torquay United Academy, and Dnipro from Ukraine. Ireland last won this cup in 2005, while last year’s visitors Dynamo Moscow overcame the Republic of Ireland on penalties to claim the honours.
Leeds United headlines the u-13 Elite event that boasts 16 teams. The Galway & District League has been drawn alongside Leeds in Group A with Carlow and Lucan.
Hosts Salthill Devon boast two teams in the u-17 boys group, in which neighbours Mervue United will also compete, while the boys’ u-15 event comprises 12 teams. The u-13 boys’ event sees the two local clubs competing against Limerick, Castlebar, Roscommin, Clare, Longford, Galway & District, Athlone and Kildare.
Event organisers estimate the tournament, now in its ninth year, is worth €2 million to the local economy.
The event is open to the public. Passes for the five day event can be purchased on the gate and are priced at €20 for adults and €10 for children. Daily passes are also available, €6 for adults and €3 for children.