United Academy to take part in 40th SuperCupNI

Thursday 06 July 2023 06:31

Manchester United Academy will take part in the SuperCupNI (formerly known as Milk Cup) this summer, with the competition entering its 40th year.

Taking place in Northern Ireland, the event is a great opportunity for youth teams to battle it out and gain competitive experience.

Clubs that have attended the competition in the past include Spanish side Valencia and Scottish rivals Celtic and Rangers.

There is one club that has a deeper affiliation with the Cup, however: Manchester United.

Watch SuperCupNI's thrilling 40-year anniversary video.

We, as a club, have a strong base of supporters in Northern Ireland, and over the years our fans have seen Academy players take part in the tournament. David Beckham, Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay are just some of the extensive list of graduates to show their class in Northern Ireland.

Sir Alex Ferguson was known to be a huge supporter of the Milk Cup, with our legendary manager opening the 1994 edition of the tournament.

"It's wonderful, it's terrific the reception we've received," he said at the opening ceremony. "We've had a history with Northern Ireland and that really shows today.

"It's brilliant, actually.

"We are applauding the commitment and sacrifice people are making to [make the tournament happen]."

With the tournament set for its 40th year, following its 1983 inception, Director of United's Academy Nick Cox, and Academy player liaison officer Dave Bushell attended the anniversary dinner last week.

Cox sees SuperCupNI as a valuable opportunity for our young players, both on and off the pitch.

"Manchester United has enjoyed a proud association with the Super Cup since 1989. Some of our most successful graduates have had the opportunity to play in this fantastically well organised event over the years. I’m sure they still cherish those memories, on and off the pitch, to this day.

"The class of '92 actually won their first trophy together in the 1991 Milk Cup, those bonding experiences provide an excellent development opportunity for our young players.

"It remains a hugely prestigious tournament which gives us a great chance to face high-level opposition in a competitive environment. We’re all really looking forward to, once again, taking over two age-groups this summer as the competition celebrates its 40th anniversary."

United's Director of Academy, Nick Cox, attended the SuperCupNI's 40-year anniversary dinner.

Bushell said: "It has been a great privilege to be involved in taking many teams over to Northern Ireland to play in the Super Cup over the last 30 years.


"It is an amazing competition that enables our youth teams to have a fantastic games programme, whilst also enjoying many special experiences off the pitch.


"The boys always thrive off taking part in the opening parade through Coleraine and playing in front of a crowd, often for the first time in their careers.


"There are so many people who deserve a huge amount of credit for the longevity of this competition and, on behalf of everyone at Manchester United, we say a massive thank you to them for their years of service that has benefited so many teams."

Huddlestone continues Academy role


The former England international will pass on more knowledge to our Under-21s.

In this year's tournament, our Under-18s will take part in a four-team round-robin section that includes Premier League rivals Liverpool, as well as La Liga side Valencia and German outfit Hertha Berlin.

United are also in action in the Premier (U16) section and we will take on local opposition from County Fermanagh, Dundalk Schoolboys League from the Republic of Ireland and Japanese side Ichifuna. 

We will kick off our Elite U18 section with a match against Hertha Berlin in Coleraine on Monday 24 July. Our Under-18s will return to Coleraine Showgrounds for a mouth-watering fixture against Liverpool before concluding the visit to Northern Ireland with an intriguing clash against Valencia on Friday 28 July.

The 2023 tournament kicks off on Sunday 23 July with the welcoming ceremony in Coleraine, and it concludes with finals day and the last set of Elite fixtures on Friday 28 July.