A week spent at the SuperCupNI has become a rite of passage for so many of Northern Ireland’s best players.
21 of Michael O’Neill’s Euro 2016 squad at one time played at the prestigious youth tournament. Locally, Danske Bank Premiership regulars Andrew Waterworth, Steven Gordon and Jamie Mulgrew are all alumni of County Down.
2015 Junior team player Jack Chambers is the latest to be forging a successful path, as he looks towards the end of his first season at West Bromwich Albion.
The Banbridge lad enjoyed two SuperCups with County Down, first taking part in 2014, playing a year above his age group, and then coming back the following season to captain our Junior side and cap off a superb tournament by winning the Bertie Peacock Award – the prize given to the best County player at the tournament.
We caught up with Jack earlier this week to find out how he’s found his first year of professional football, just as he was about to join in with a first team training session.
“My first year at West Brom has been great,” Jack told us, “From being on the bench for the first half of the season and feeling frustrated, to being a regular starter in the 18s and playing for the 23s, as well as training with the first team on a couple of occasions.
“Overall it’s went well, although with only being a young 16 year old, I’ve had to work on the physical side of my game more so than ever, which has held me back at times.
“On the whole, I really couldn’t complain about how my first year has gone though. I can’t wait to finish it on a high and move onto next season.”
Jack’s success is thanks in no small part to all of those whose have supported and encouraged him over a number of years. His appearances at the SuperCupNI were made possible by the generous backing of the County Down sponsors, without whom we would not be able to give our boys this platform to showcase their talents.