Author Archives: editor

Venue change for Junior Squad in Dublin!

The Dale Farm Milk Cup Junior County side will now take on St.Kevins under 15’s at St Kevins which can be found on Larkhill Road, Whitehall, Dublin 9. Directions to the pitches can be found on the St. Kevins webpage or through clicking on this page.

The Premier side will take on St. Kevins under 18’s at Gormaston College. Kick off for both matches is 2pm.

Please like & share:

County Down Win Mourne Cup!

On the 28th July 56 teams from all five continents will descend upon the North Coast for the prestigious Dale Farm Milk Cup and on Sunday the 15th June County Down stepped up their preparations with a comprehensive victory in the Annual Mourne Cup. John Bailie’s squad who have been working together intensively for a number of weeks welcomed county counterparts Armagh and Tyrone as well as local Irish league side Glentoran’s under 19’s to the Billy Neil centre just outside Comber on a scorching summer’s day.

County Down began the day taking on Glentoran whilst Armagh took on Tyrone in the other Semi-final with the winners facing each other in the Final. With just a couple of weeks to go before John Bailie has to announce his final 18 for the 2014 Dale Farm Milk Cup the Down players started brightly, zipping the ball about and snapping into tackles. Howard was creating problems with his movement and after going close with a half-volley after a long throw from Turkington got his just reward for a lively opening 15 minutes as he calmly slotted home to give County Down lead. He was at it again, soon after driving at the Glentoran defence before being bundled over by the Glentoran Central defender. Salley dispatched the resulting spot kick to give John Bailie’s County Down side a deserved 2-0 lead. The central midfield partnership of Mcgovern and Drilley had stamped their authority on the game, combining well together setting the tempo for the rest of the County Down squad. Wingers Dupree and Rushe were a threat throughout and with half time fast approaching the back four of left back Turkington, central defenders Khalid and Noble-Walker and right back Mcavoy had barely broke a sweat and were dealing comfortably with any Glentoran attacks.

Glentoran came out for the second half with a renewed sense of vigour as the County Down lads took their foot off the gas. Glentoran got their just rewards for their impressive start to the second half as their centre forward robbed the Down midfield off the ball before driving at the heart of defence and litting it over the on-rushing goalkeeper to make it 2-1. That goal seemed to jolt Down back into action as they rediscovered their commanding first half form. Substitute Johnston was to be the thorn in Glentoran’s side as he exstinguished any hopes they had of getting themselves back into the game, volleying in from close range following another through ball from Mcgovern. Johnston was at it again as he put the game beyond doubt nodding in from a corner to make it 4-1. Johnston whose pace and trickery were causing all sorts of problems set up Lennox for the final goal of the game. The game finished up 5-1 as the manner of victory as much as the margain will have pleased premier team Manager John Bailie. Playing with pace and tempo Down looked threatening throughout the game.
As County Armagh defeated County Tyrone 5-1 in the other semi-final the final looked set to be a sterner test for the County Down lads.

Kicking off at the height of the afternoon sun both sides could be forgiven for dropping their intensity. However Down began where they left off against Glentoran as they flew out of the traps against Armagh. The dangerous Johnston was again in the middle of the action as he gave county Down an early lead after being slid through by the impressive Lennox. Soon after Johnston picked up the ball on the left-hand corner of the box, jinked his way past the opposing defender and fired the ball across the box. The Armagh central defender was unable to move his feet quickly enough as the ball bounced off his shin and into the net. With a 2-0 lead Down continued to assert themselves on their opponents. The midfield of Dempster, Drilley and Rice were overrunning the Armagh midfield which gave Down the platform to build on their early goals. A rare Armagh venture into the Down half was thwarted by a great clearing header from Byers. Foster, Neale and Stewart were equally impressive in nullifying Armagh attacks. Despite the intense heat Down did not lower their tempo as Drilley robbed the ball of his opposing number before powering past a couple of players and bundling it into the net to make it 3-0 with 10 minutes still left to play before half time. Dempster, Johnston and Kane went close as Down looked to add to their lead.

With a comprehensive 3-0 lead at half time County Down picked up where they left off at the start of the second half. Lennox was again causing trouble cutting inside from the left wing. He was slid through after hard work from Drilley, only for his final shot to be blocked. Dempster went closer again and centre forward Salley continued to play an unselfish role, consistently bringing his teammates into the game. Despite going close with Howard in the closing minutes all the goals were scored in the frenetic first half. The match came to a close and Down were once again Mourne Cup champions. It was a confidence boosting victory for John Bailie’s premier squad as they step up their preparations for the 2014 Dale Farm Milk Cup. Next up for the County Down lads is a trip to Dublin were they will take on North Dublin Schoolboys, St Kevins Boys Club under 18’s and a Dundalk representative side before the final squad of 18 players is announced at the end of June.

Please like & share:

Dale Farm Milk Cup Premier team match and training schedule.

Tuesday 10th June– Match v County Down 2013 Dale Farm Milk Cup team. 1845 K.O. @ Billy Neill.

Thursday 12th June– Training @Billy Neil. 1830 Start.

Sunday 15th June– Mourne Cup 4 team Tournament. 10am K.O. @Billy Neill.

Tuesday 17th June– Training @Billy Niell. 1830 Start.

Friday 20th June– Dublin Game 1 v Dublin schools @ Gormaston College. 1900 K.O.

Saturday 21th June-Dublin Game 2 v St. Kevins under 18 @ Gormaston College. 1400 K.O.

Sunday 22nd June– Dublin Game 3v Dundalk @ Dundalk. 1400 K.O.

Tuesday 24th June– Spin Class @ Banbridge. (Details to be confrimed)

Thrusday 26th June– Training@ Billy Neill. 1830 Start.

Saturday 28th June– 4 team tournament at Lurgan (Details to be confirmed).

Tuesday 1st July– Game v Ballymena U19 @ Ballymena showgrounds 3g. (K.O. to be confirmed)

Thursday 3rd July– Training @ Billy Neill.1830 start.

Saturday 5th July– Game v Hillsborough Boys @Billy Neill. 1015 K.O.

Tuesday 8th July– Training @Billy Neill. 1830 start.

Thursday 10th July– Training @ Billy Neill. 1830 Start.

Tuesday 15th July– Training @ Newcastle. 1830 Start.

Thursday 17th July– Game v Woodvale U19 @ Billy Neill.1845 K.O.

Saturday 19th July– Training @ Billy Neill. 10am Start.

Tuesday 22nd July– Training @ Billy Neill. 1830 Start.

Thursday 24th July– Training @ Billy Neill. 1830 Start.

Sunday 27th July– Arrive in Coleraine.

Monday 28th July- 2014 Dale Farm Milk Cup Begins.

Please like & share:

DUBLIN fixtures confirmed!

With just under 3 weeks until the Annual weekend trip to Dublin, the fixtures have been confirmed. On Friday the 20th June Kyle Spiers’ Junior Team and John Bailie’s Senior team will take on the North Dublin Schoolboys Under 16’s and Under 17’s at Gormanston College.


The Junior and Senior Teams will then take on local club side St. Kevins Boys Club. St Kevins boast former Arsenal supremo Liam Brady, Fulham winer Damien Duff and Former leeds star Ian Harte among its former players and has a rich history with many of its players representing the Republic of Ireland in their various under-age teams.


The demanding weekend will culminate for the Juniors against Eircom Premier League side, Shelbourne’s under 15 side, while the Seniors will end the action packed weekend with a game against a representative side from Eircom league Side Dundalk, in Dundalk.


WIth the Dale Farm Milk Cup approaching fast on the horizon, the trip will give Junior Team Manager Kyle Spiers and Senior team manager John Bailie an opportunity to run their eye over their squads in a similar envireonment to one they will encounter at the Dale Farm Milk Cup at the end of July. The final Junior and Senior squads of 18 for the Dale Farm Milk Cup will be announced following the trip at the end of June.



In other news the Annual Mourne Cup and Nevin Spence memorial trophy tournaments will now take place on Sunday the 15th Jun at Billy Neill Centre of Excellence. Details on the matches will follow in the next few days.

Please like & share:

Dale Farm Milk Cup Draw update!

On the 27th July 56 Teams from some of the World leading Proffesional Clubs will decend upon the North Coast along with local County sides for the week long feast of football that is the Dale Farm Milk Cup.


Following the draw that took place on the 27th May we can now confirm the where, the who, and when both  Down Senior and Junior squads will be in action in the first three Days,


The Junior lads will open up against Scottish Champsionship side Queen of the South. The match will take place at Castlerock at 1330. The Junior team will then make the short trip across to Rugby Avenue in Coleraine for their game against  Southern side Dundalk Schoolboys. The match will also Kick off at 1330.


The final game of the opening round of matches  for the Junior set-up will see them take on the 2012 winners Brentford at Anderson Park in Coleraine. The Match will kick off at 1530. Despite the difficut draw the Junior side will be hopeful that they can follow in the footsteps of the 2006 sides who reached the Semi-Final of the Dale Farm Milk Cup proper before unfortunately loosing on penalties in the Semi Finals. With the likes of Rangers, Liverpool and Japan, in this years Junior competition the 2014 Dale Farm Milk Cup looks set to be more competive than previous years. It will also give the lads from the Junior set-up the opportunity to test themselves against high-class opposition in a world class tournament in front of tousands of people.


 Meanwhile John Bailie’s senior side will begin their campaign with a mouth-wattering local derby against Country Antrim at the Ballymena Showgrounds. Kick off is at 1800. They will then travel to Rugby Avenue, Coleraine the following evening to take on Scottish Premier League side Partrick Thistle’s Under 17 Side.The final game of the opening round will be played against te Craig Bellamy Foundation at Scroggy Road, Limavady with a  7pm kick off. The Craig Bellamy Foundation was set up in 2009 to help under-privileged kids in Sierra Lienne. The foundation recruits some of Africa’s best young player, giving 5-year scholarships to 11-13 year olds to train and play at its state of the art facilities. It promises to be a good test for the County Down lads as John Bailie’s side rub shoulders with players and coaches from across the world.


Now with less than two months to go until the big Kick preparations are intensifying as both John Bailie and Kyle Spiers put their squads through their paces before the 28th July.

Please like & share:
From left to right: Chairman Paul Ritchie, Connor Brennan, Secretary Jeremy Bell and Vice Chairman John Hamilton

Kilmarnock Goalkeeper Connor Brennan recalls Dale Farm Milk Cup Days!

Connor Brennan is pictured above with (From left to right) Chairman Paul Ritchie, Secretary Jeremy Bell and Vice Chairman John Hamilton.

Back in 2008 Connor Brennan was a fresh faced member of the Junior County Down Dale Farm Milk Cup squad. Now the 20 year old Goalkeeper plays for Kilmarnock and Northern Ireland under 21’s. At the parents evening on Thursday 16th May the man from Crossgar took time off his busy schedule to discuss his memories of the 2008 campaign, his life as a professional footballer and to pass on a word of adivce to this years Dale Farm Milk Cup hopefuls.

‘It was a great week. The highlight of the 2008 Milk Cup was playing Chelsea. They were so strong, quick and technically gifted it was unreal. I learned alot. it was a great experience and motivated me to improve and reach the standard that they set.”

“The thing that suprised and encouraged me about the 2008 experience was how well we coped with the experience. Despite the skills of the professional teams there wasnt that much difference between them and us.”

The well-spoken 20 year old has already packed alot into his short career so far, competing also in the Elite section of the Dale Farm Milk Cup for Northern Ireland. Connor passed on this word of advice to this years hopefuls,

“The important thing when your young is to always be asking questions. If i didnt know something or if I wanted to improve I would just ask one of my coaches. You are given first class coaching so make the best use of it. I love asking questions because that’s how you know your on the right tracks. The other thing is not to be discouraged if your not selected. Coaches have difficult jobs and many players to select from so its not a personal thing if you don’t get in. But find out, in the right way, why you weren’t selected so you can improve. Dont get your head down either, it’s a great opportunity to play in the Milk Cup, but there wil be other chances to be a professional footballer if you want. The important thing is to enjoy it, work hard and make the most of the expert Coaching you’ve been given. I’ve played in England and Scotland and the coaching here is excellent, so dont pass up that opportunity. The experiences at the Milk Cup inspired me to continue to work hard to achieve my dream.”


With an old head on young shoulders the future looks bright for Connor. On top of training sessions and matches Connor has followed in the footsteps of Giggs et tal in taking Yoga and spending afternoons in the gym. The 20 year old Goalkeeper has his sights set on establishing himself at Kilmarnock and Northern Ireland. Connor who currently the understudy to Craig Samson at Kilmarnock is looking forward to the season ahead, ‘we go back at the end of June so its all about maintaining and improving my fitness so I can hit the ground running when I get over there. We get weighed and our body fat is measured before we leave so its all about eating well and staying in shape to give yourself the best possible chance of doing well. Ideally i’d like to get out on loan at some point this season and get some proper match practice in. Buit i’m lucky in that the training at Kilmarnock is so intense that i’ve contined to improve throughout the season.”


For now the 20 year old has another few weeks left at home before he goes back to Kilmarnock for the season, where, fingers crossed we will soon see starring in both the Blue and White stripe of Kilmarnock and the Green of Northern Ireland.






Please like & share:

Night at the Races!

The Annual County Down Dale Farm Milk Cup ‘Night at the Races’ has been confirmed.

The popular event will take place on Friday the 30th May and will be held at Comber Rec F.C. Park Way, Comber with racing getting underway at 8pm.

so if you fancy yourself as the next John McCririck or simply want to join in on the fun and support your county then get your tickets early to avoid dissapointment!

Tickets are just £5 and are available from all committee members.

Big thanks goes to Comber Rec F.C. for providing the Venue.

Please like & share:

Dale Farm Milk Cup 2014 countdown is on!

With less than four months to go before the big Kick off, preparations for the 2014 Dale Farm Milk Cup are well under way in County Down.

The following dates and events have been confirmed with details to follow in the weeks to come.

Dates for your Diary

Thursday 15th May- Parents evening at the Aurora, Bangor at 7.30pm.

Friday 30th May- ‘Night at the Races’ at Comber Rec F.C. Park Way, Comber at 7.30pm.

Saturday 14th June- Nevin Spence Memorial Cup (Junior Team).

Sunday 15th June- Mourne Cup (Premier Team).

Friday 20th-Sunday 22nd June- Junior and Premier Team weekend in Dublin (Details to follow).

Sunday 27th July-Friday 1st July- Dale Farm Milk Cup.


Please like & share: