COUNTY Armagh’s junior and premier players will take to the field at Shamrock Park as part of this summer’s Milk Cup programme.
The highly-respected youth tournament this season celebrates 30 years of play – with the focus extending to fixtures outside the traditional venues around Coleraine.
As a result, Portadown Football Club will stage games on Saturday, July 21 for County Armagh’s under 14s and under 16s.
“Shamrock Park is about the community not just the club,” said Gareth Verner, chair of the community relations committee at Portadown. “We have put a lot of hard work into spreading that message and Milk Cup
football in town this summer will certainly present the perfect opportunity to showcase that ambition.
“Following extensive investment in recent years, we have a superb ground with wonderful facilities perfect for any number of community functions or events.
“The Milk Cup is recognised across the globe as a tournament designed to bring people together and we consider Shamrock Park a fitting venue towards that goal.
“We are keen to hear from any community groups in the area interested in taking advantage of our facilities.
“Saturday, July 21 will obviously put Shamrock Park in the spotlight as part of a worldwide tournament but we want to make sure it is considered central to community progress for local people on a regular basis.”
The move marks only the second time in Milk Cup history that the Orchard County has been granted host status.
“We are delighted that two games in the prestigious Milk Cup will be locally at the excellent facilities at the Premier League ground in Portadown,” said the Mayor of Craigavon, Councillor Alan Carson. “The Milk Cup attracts the most talented young footballers from across the world to compete and I would encourage residents young and old to come along and see the stars of tomorrow.”
The fixtures present another opportunity for Portadown to showcase the impressive ground redevelopments.
“We have invested considerably in upgrading our stadium and are pleased to be able to host the county boys,” said Portadown chairman, Roy McMahon. “We feel Shamrock Park is the ideal venue to showcase their talents.
“We look forward to welcoming the tournament, which has rightly earned such a high reputation for excellence throughout the world.
“I know the Armagh sporting public will make everyone feel at home at Shamrock Park.”
The County Armagh fixtures will be confirmed at the forthcoming draw.