IT would appear that the local Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup Committee continue to pull out all the stops to play its part in Londonderry’s UK City of Culture celebrations with the news that a record number of teams will play in the July festival.
Indeed, of the new participants, Nottingham Forest, Norwich City and Aberdeen have all confirmed their entires last weekend.
Following the transfer of Derry City’s Stephen McLaughlin to Nottingham Forest, the relationship between the clubs have strengthened with Forest entering the Under-19 competition to compete against the best that the Foyle Cup can offer.
Delighted that a total of around 200 teams would play in the 2013 tournament, Foyle Cup Chairman, Mr Michael Hutton, reflected back on the relationshp between Derry and Nottingham Forest.
“When this competition was in its infancy back in the early 1990s, the local Nottingham Forest scout was the late Billy Nelis who brought Nottingham Forest over to the city to compete in the event and the likes of Mel Hackett, the club’s recently retired Academy Director, became a life long friend of the Derry & District Youth FA,” said Mr Hutton.
“I received a telephone call on Christmas morning from Mel wishing all in the Association a Happy Christmas and informing me that recently Forest have appointed Billy Nelis’ grandson, as a part-time scout to cover Northern Ireland. So it was great to see the ties continuing.
“And With Stephen McLaughlin transferring from Derry City, it has reawakened the club’s desire to return to the city and I am assured that Forest will bring a team determined to win the event,” he added.
It has also been confirmed that Premier League representatives, Norwich City, will also play in the Maiden City this summer.
“We felt it would be appropriate to invite them to compete in this year’s event and I made contact with manager, Chris Hughton, a former Republic of Ireland international and he was delighted to be able to confirm that Norwich would travel to Derry to compete.”
And the latest Scottish club to participate in the event is Aberdeen whose manager, Craig Brown, was special Guest of Honour at the Foyle Cup five years ago and this year’s entry will increase the number of Scottish clubs competing in the event to six.
For more details about the event visit the website at www.foylecup.com.