Our MU14 and MU15 academy players landed safely in Denmark on Wednesday ahead of their appearance in this year’s Norhalne Cup.
The competition, which runs until Saturday, is an elite tournament which is played in eight classes for boys – and is designed to attract many of the best youth teams in Europe.
This is the 18th year of the tournament, which features clubs from a wide range of countries such as England, Brazil, Germany, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, and Portugal.
Some of the leading Scandinavian clubs from Sweden and Norway, as well as teams from Finland and from the best divisions in Denmark, are also on show. Dundalk are one of just two Irish clubs taking part, the other being Phoenix FC.
Shane Grimes’ MU14 side will take part in the four-team EU14 Group Four where they have been pitted against IFK Gothenburg (Sweden) and Danish clubs FS Holstebro and IF Lyseng. Their group games will be played on Thursday and Friday.
Thomas McShane’s MU15 team have been drawn in Group One of the BU15A section where they will meet Bellevue FC, Ursviks IK 1 (Sweden), IF Lyseng, Randers Freja (Denmark) and Grane Football (Norway) across three days from Thursday to Saturday.
“Everyone, players, staff and parents, is really looking forward to it,” said Grimes. “We’re going to Denmark until Sunday to represent the club and the town and we want to go over there and express ourselves and showcase our ability.
“Some of the lads have played in the Galway Cup and the Milk Cup in Ireland but this is a step up, it’s an elite competition, and they will gain great experience for playing against players from different countries and cultures.
“Going to these high-level competitions, the main objective is to test ourselves from a learning and development point of view but there’s also a trophy at stake and we want to win it.”
Both teams will be wearing their new Hanley-Energy sponsored kit, which was unveiled earlier this week.
We will have updates on their progress on the club’s social media channels over the next three days.