The Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup gets underway tomorrow throughout the North West.
The six day festival of football has attracted its highest ever entry of teams – 340 – and teams will travel all over Ireland to compete with entries received from as far away as England, Scotland, Finland, Germany, France, Canada and America.
The tournament also continues to support the development of Ladies football with no fewer than 28 female teams entered in this week long event.
Not only will teams travel in huge numbers to the city but all the major clubs in the UK will be present during the week to scout talent, focusing especially on that Ireland has to offer, hoping to find the next star player.
Over the years the likes of Robbie Keane, John O’Shea, Paddy McNair, Darron Gibson, Shay Given, Paddy McCourt, Daniel Lafferty, James McClean and Shane Duffy – to name but a few have all been signed after competing in this event.
Michael Hutton Chairman of Hughes Insurance Foyle Cup commented: “Hotels are reporting to me more than ever over the past few years and especially this year, that the major clubs in Britain are booking scouts into hotels.
“Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs, Sunderland, Sheffield United, Celtic, Rangers, Hearts, Aberdeen and many others - will each have several scouts in the city, very much focusing on what Irish talent is available.
“More and more clubs are looking at the success of Irish players with Premier League club and are determined to find future stars – thereby saving themselves millions of pounds that their clubs cannot afford.
“More professional clubs are crossing the Irish Sea and it is particularly pleasing to see present Celtic manager – Brendan Rodgers, a former player within the Derry & District Youth Football – identify with the event by encouraging Celtic U14 team to compete.”
This year’s fixtures can be viewed on tournament website www.foylecup.com.