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Friday 15 Mar 2024
Council hosts reception for WU16 tournament teams

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council has held a reception for the four teams competing in a UEFA Women’s Under-16 development tournament in Northern Ireland this week.

The four-team mini tournament features Spain, Belgium and Iceland as well as Northern Ireland, with all games being played at Seaview Stadium in Belfast.

However, the visiting teams have all been staying and training within Antrim and Newtownabbey.

The Deputy Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Rosie Kinnear, hosted a special welcome reception at Mossley Mill for the players, coaches and managers of the participating teams.

She said: “It is great to see yet another high profile women’s football tournament in Northern Ireland and we are delighted that the visiting international teams chose to prepare, train and relax in our borough. 

“The council is proud to host the teams and support them in their preparation for the tournament.  Their decision to utilise our facilities underscores the outstanding reputation of our sporting infrastructure.”

The visiting teams have been training at Allen Park in Antrim and at the Crumlin and Valley leisure centres.

Angela Platt, Director of Women’s Football at the Irish Football Association, said: “We would like to thank Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council for hosting our international visitors.

“We really do appreciate the council’s support and we are confident the teams from Belgium, Iceland and Spain will enjoy their stay in both the borough and Northern Ireland.

“The tournament is proving to be a tough challenge for our young players but it has also provided an amazing opportunity to expose them to high quality competition and better prepare them for future international representation.”

The tournament, which has been organised by the Irish Football Association on behalf of UEFA, draws to a close today when Belgium face Spain and Northern Ireland take on Iceland at Seaview (4pm).

Image: The Deputy Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Councillor Rosie Kinnear, welcomes Belgium WU16 captain Noor Persyn and Northern Ireland WU16 captain Jessica McGuinness to the special reception.