Northern Ireland’s Under-14 girls’ development squad have been competing strongly against the boys at the Foyle Cup this week.
The U14s won their group in the U13 boys’ section of the international youth football tournament after defeating Co Tyrone side Tummery Athletic 4-1, drawing 2-2 with Strathroy Harps (Co Tyrone) and enjoying a 4-0 victory against Newbuildings (Co Londonderry).
As group winners they progressed to the quarter-finals of the U13 Cup, however they were defeated 3-0 by a strong team representing Co Donegal’s Inishowen Youth League.
They then lost 2-1 to Sion Swifts (Co Tyrone) in the first of two games to determine overall positions in the U13 competition.
And earlier today the girls defeated Oxford United Stars (Derry-Londonderry) 4-1 to finish seventh overall in their section.
Coach Amanda Morton, who was assisted by Heather Mearns and Ryan Brown, said: “Over the course of the week the girls have played some excellent football, topping their group unbeaten and securing a place in the cup competition. It has been an invaluable development opportunity for all the players and coaches.
“For many of the girls this tournament has been their first experience of staying away from home in a football setting. They have learnt a lot of new life skills.
“Thank you to all the organisers at the Foyle Cup for facilitating the tournament and allowing us the opportunity to participate.”
More than 450 teams from across the island of Ireland, Britain, the rest of Europe and North America - a record entry for the tournament - have been taking part in the week-long Foyle Cup.
Sponsored by sportswear firm O’Neills, and run in association with Derry City and Strabane District Council, the tournament features 17 categories, ranging from U8 to U19 for boys’ teams. There are also five girls’/ladies sections and a disability section.
Each year Foyle Cup matches are staged across Northern Ireland's North-West and in Co Donegal.