2010 Tournament

Friday 30th July 2010 – County presentation after a successful 2010 Milk Cup

Chairman Bobbie Reid made a series of presentations after Friday’s final round of matches. All 36 players received their county medal at the Lodge Hotel in Coleraine. Johnny Kane, Ethan Knipe, Calum Birney and Thomas Healey were the main prizewinners.

Calum Birney accepts the McCloskey Cup from Aaron McCloskey

Thomas Healey receives the Premier Players Player of the Milk Cup

Premier team top goalscorer Calum Birney with Chairman Bobbie Reid

Junior team top goalscorer Ethan Knipe with Chairman Bobbie Reid

Chairman Bobbie Reid with Johnny Kane – recipient of the Chairman’s Cup and also the Players Player of the Milk Cup

Friday 30th July 2010 – Bees stung by County Down Juniors in Dunluce Trophy final

County Down 5 Brentford 2

County Down ended the week by lifting the Dunluce Trophy with a thumping 5-2 win over Brentford at Rugby Avenue in Coleraine on Friday.

Down lost central defender Padraig McGrath who was stretchered off with a knee injury after just four minutes.

John Bailie’s side took the lead after 28 minutes. Jamie Sharvin’s volley was saved by Halil Jamit and Johnny Kane was on hand to stab the ball home.

Brentford drew level two minutes later. Louis Adesanya following up after a good initial save by Paul Campbell.

County Down regained the lead immediately. Captain Ethan Knipe’s shot deflected in off a Brentford defender.

Down went further in front two minutes after the break. Michael Hunsdale’s free-kick was too hot to handle for substitute keeper Michael Pearce, and Kurtis Coffey slotted home.

It was 4-1 after 34 minutes. Kane’s header from TJ Murray’s corner was initially saved by Pearce and Jordan McMillan bundled the ball over the line.

Matthew Geddis came on and scored a quality goal for County Down with just a minute remaining.

The local lads conceded deep into injury time but it was too little too late for Brentford.

Team: Campbell, Harwood, Hunsdale, Kane, McGrath, TJ Murray, McGonigle, Coffey, Knipe, Sharvin, McMillan.
Subs: Shields, McBride, MacKenzie, Geddis, R Murray
Subs not used: Gunning, Savage.

Skipper Ethan Knipe with the Dunluce Trophy

The County Down Junior squad that lifted the Duncluce Trophy with victory over Brentford

Friday 30th July 2010 – Second win on the spin for Premier team

County Down 1 County Tyrone 0

Calum Birney’s second goal in as many days saw County Down finish 5th in the Slemish Trophy game at the University on Friday.

Birney got on the scoresheet after just 8 minutes. Curtis Gallacher took the corner on the left and Birney headed in at the back post.

Glenn Stephenson tested the Tyrone keeper from Thomas Healey’s pass after 27 minutes.

Healey tested Alan Buchanan five minutes into the second half, but the Tyrone keeper made the save.

Kyle Cherry was next to try his luck for County Down but steered his effort narrowly wide.

County Tyrone almost equalised at the death. Stefan Lavery’s 30 yard free-kick came back off the Down post.

Team: Wallace, Battersby, Birney, Robinson, Allen, Cherry, Healey, Burns, Stephenson, Gallacher, Curran-Cochrane.
Subs: Harrison, Morgan, Jackson , Craig, Gordon, Forsythe, Bell .

Calum Birney – two goals in two games for the central defender.

Thursday 29th July 2010 – Down defeat Antrim in penalty shootout

County Down 1 Antrim 1

(County Down won 5-4 on penalties)

Goalkeeper Shane Harrison made the decisive stop in the penalty shootout to give County Down’s Premier team a 5-4 win over County Antrim at the Riada Stadium in Ballymoney.

Down took a sixth minute lead after Antrim failed to clear Sean Morgan’s free-kick. Centre half Calum Birney was ideally placed to steer the ball into the bottom corner past Ross Glendinning.

Antrim equalised two minutes later. Neil Lowry had acres of spaces out on the left flank and he whipped the ball into the top corner of the Down net.

Shane Harrison made a smart block to deny John McGuigan five minutes before the break.

Jamie Jackson almost restored County Down ’s lead seven minutes after the restart. His searching cross came back off the woodwork.

Thomas Healey sent a shot narrowly over the target on the hour mark while Harrison tipped over a vicious Darren Bell drive to keep the game tied at 1-1.

In the shootout, Harrison denied Neil Lowry who took County Antrim ’s third spot-kick. County Down scored all five penalties with Kyle Cherry, Thomas Healey, Scott Burns, Curtis Gallacher and Jamie Jackson all showing remarkable composure from the spot.

Team: Harrison, Battersby, Allen, Birney, Bell , Robinson, Burns, Healey, Morgan, Jackson , Curran-Cochrane.
Subs: Gallacher, Cherry.
Subs not used: Stephenson, Craig, Wallace.

Kyle Cherry slots the first penalty past Ross Glendinning

Jamie Jackson reels away after scoring the decisive penalty in the shootout

Thursday 29th July 2010 – Down hit four against County Fermanagh

County Down 4 County Fermanagh 0

After disappointing performances on the opening two days, County Down’s Juniors hit top gear in a 4-0 victory over County Fermanagh in the semi-final of the Dunluce Trophy at the Warren on Thursday.

Kurtis Coffey played a key role in two of County Down’s goals. Coffey was upended by the Fermanagh keeper in the box after 25 minutes. Ethan Knipe despatched the penalty into the corner.

County Down doubled their advantage six minutes later. Coffey fired in a pinpoint cross from the right and Jamie Sharvin stooped to head in.

Adam Harwood’s deflected 30 yard shot made it three after 42 minutes.

Substitute Rossa Murray completed the scoring with four minutes remaining. Murray latched onto Jamie MacKenzie’s throughball and slid the ball home.

Team: Campbell, Harwood, McGrath, Kane, Hunsdale, Sharvin, Knipe, McGonigle, TJ Murray, Coffey, McMillan.
Subs: Savage, R Murray, Geddis, MacKenzie.
Subs not used: McBride, Shields.

Kurtis Coffey – two assists against County Fermanagh

Rossa Murray came on to score County Down’s fourth goal

Wednesday 28th July 2010 – Red Devils come from behind to beat County Down

County Down 1 Manchester United 3

In spite of taking an early lead, County Down’s Premier team went down 3-1 to Milk Cup holders Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the Slemish Trophy at the Warren in Portstewart on Wednesday.

County Down made a dream start with a goal after just five minutes. Sean Morgan crossed from the left. Glenn Stephenson’s first-time shot hit the underside of the bar and Ryan Craig tucked in the rebound from eight yards.

The local lads held the lead for merely two minutes. Calum Birney’s clearance was charged down and Luke Hendrie rifled a shot in off the underside of the bar.

Despite conceding so soon after taking the lead, Down went on the offensive. Scott Burns dispossessed Hendrie in the 14th minute and unleashed a 35-yard shot that had Liam Jacob beaten. Unfortunately for County Down, the ball came back off the crossbar.

Manchester United scored a second goal in the 18th minute. John Cofie found space in behind the Down defence and managed to nip in ahead of Shane Harrison to double the United lead.

County Down hit the woodwork for a third time after 32 minutes. Ryan Craig laid the ball off to Kyle Cherry and his rasping shot from 30 yards rebounded back off the bar.

The Red Devils fired another warning shot with five minutes remaining. Barmby broke down the left but steered his shot into the side-netting.

United wrapped things up with two minutes of normal time left. Substitute Thomas Lawrence waltzed past two County Down defenders before slotting into the bottom corner of the net.

Team: Harrison, Battersby, Bell, Birney, Allen, Cherry, Healey, Burns, Stephenson, Morgan, Craig.
Subs: Curran-Cochrane, Gallacher, Jackson.
Subs not used: Wallace, Forsythe, Gordon.

The Premier squad that lined out against Manchester United

Shane Harrison with the Manchester United captain before the clash at the Warren

Ryan Craig is mobbed after scoring against Manchester United

Ryan Craig who opened the scoring against Manchester United

Tuesday 27th July 2010 – J-League stars outwit County Down Juniors

County Down 0 Kashima Antlers 2

County Down’s Juniors were undone by Japanese outfit Kashima Antlers at Roemill in Limavady on Tuesday.

Down started strongly with Sean McGonigle releasing Jordan McMillan after just seven minutes. McMillan’s snap-shot was kept out by Kashima keeper Yoto Kazumi.

On 18 minutes, captain Ethan Knipe played a slide-rule pass to TJ Murray out on the right. Murray cut inside but blazed his shot over the bar with his left foot from twelve yards.

The Japanese boys took the lead three minutes before the break. Jo Reona was unmarked at the back post and despatched the ball past Paul Campbell.

McGonigle volleyed wide as County Down went in search of the equaliser just before half-time.

The locals were indifferent after the restart. Apart from two long-range efforts from Knipe, there was very little cutting edge going forward.

Kashima wrapped up the game with two minutes remaining. Ikemoto Haruhiko crossed from the left and Otake Ren volleyed home at the back post to give the competition’s debutants a first win at the Milk Cup.

Team: Campbell, Harwood, McGrath, Kane, Savage, TJ Murray, McGonigle, Knipe, MacKenzie, Geddis, McMillan.
Subs: Shields, Coffey, Sharvin, R Murray.
Unused subs: Gunning, McBride, Hunsdale.

Ethan Knipe leads County Down out against Kashima Antlers

Tuesday 27th July 2010 – Premier team dominate but Brazilians show their class in front of goal

County Down 0 Desportivo Brasil 2

County Down’s Premier side were extremely unfortunate to lose 2-0 to Desportivo Brasil at the Limavady Showgrounds on Tuesday evening.

The locals enjoyed the lion’s share of possession but couldn’t convert their chances.

The Brazilians created the first opening of the match after only two minutes. Gladestony got in behind the County Down defence but steered his shot wide of Andrew Wallace’s net.

Scott Burns had a speculative shot a minute later with Desportivo’s keeper Cleyton saving comfortably. Burns was starting to pull the strings in midfield and he had Cleyton scrambling to cover his ground in the seventh minute. His shot however whizzed narrowly over the Desportivo crossbar.

Curtis Gallacher was next to try his luck from range on sixteen minutes but again the shot sailed over.

Desportivo went in front against the run of play following a terrific move down the left. Lucas shook off the attention of two Down defenders before picking out Gustavo who smashed a glorious shot into the bottom corner.

Chris Curran-Cochrane and Glenn Stephenson were introduced in the second half and County Down continued to enjoy plenty of possession.

Full-back Mark Forsythe found space in the 45th minute but sliced his effort wide.

Kurtis Bell made a terrific goal-line clearance from Lucas with seven minutes remaining to keep the local lads in the game.

Substitute Sean Morgan laid a 64th minute pass to Kyle Cherry who cracked a shot just over the bar with Down looking dangerous.

However, a defensive mistake involving Rory Battersby and Steven Gordon allowed Orlando to round Wallace in the Down goal and slot in a second for the Brazilians with three minutes to go.

Team: Wallace, Battersby, Bell, Robinson, Gordon, Forsythe, Burns, Cherry, Jackson, Craig, Gallacher.
Subs: Morgan, Stephenson, Curran-Cochrane.
Subs not used: Harrison, Healey, Allen.

The County Down Premier side before the clash with Desportivo Brasil

Rory Battersby in action against Desportivo Brasil

Steven Gordon with the Desportivo skipper before the game

Monday 26th July 2010 – Junior team stung by ‘The Hornets’

County Down 0 Watford 1

County Down fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat to Watford at Anderson Park in Coleraine on Monday afternoon.

The sides were evenly matched for much of the contest, but Down lacked that killer instinct in front of goal.

Jamie Sharvin fired County Down’s first shot in anger after five minutes – his effort deflecting out for a corner. Sharvin then failed to connect with a cross from Kurtis Coffey on the right as the locals pressed for the opener.

Striker Rossa Murray teed up Ethan Knipe four minutes before half-time on the edge of the area. Knipe’s shot was bound for the bottom corner but the Watford keeper got down at the last second to tip the ball around the post.

Watford were rejuvenated after the break. Down stopper John Gunning made a superb reaction save with his feet seconds into the half to deny Alexander Jakubiak.

Rossa Murray then had a glorious chance to break the deadlock in the 33rd minute. Murray was forced wide by Daniel Wilks in the Watford goal and could only watch as his effort squirmed the wrong side of the far post.

Moments later, Watford scored what proved to be the decisive goal. County Down failed to clear a corner on the left and bustling defender DeReece Vanderhyde slammed the ball in off the bottom of the post.

Johnny Kane and John Gunning excelled at the back for the locals. Gunning made two fabulous saves in the latter stages of the match. His heroics however couldn’t prevent County Down falling to a slender opening day defeat.

Team: Gunning, Shields, Hunsdale, Kane, McBride, TJ Murray, McGonigle, Coffey, Knipe, Sharvin, R Murray.
Subs: Harwood, Savage, McMillan, Geddis.
Unused subs: Campbell, McGrath, MacKenzie.

Johnny Kane gives chase in the Junior clash with Watford

The County Down Junior squad and staff at the Milk Cup opening parade

County Down Junior team before the 1-0 defeat to Watford

County Down’s Jamie Sharvin tackles Alexander Jakubiak of Watford

Monday 26th July 2010 – 10-man Premier team show plenty of ‘Hart’ in opening fixture

County Down 1 Hartlepool 1

County Down substitute Scott Burns scored with his first touch as the Premier team came from behind to salvage a 1-1 draw with Hartlepool on Monday at Rugby Avenue in Coleraine.

Down skipper Shane Harrison was called into action in the 13th minute, reacting smartly to keep out a Christopher Dodds shot.

Four minutes later, Thomas Healey had the ball in the Hartlepool net. Unfortunately for the local lads, his header from a Ryan Craig flick-on was ruled out for offside.

Hartlepool took the lead on the stroke of half-time and against the run of play. Jordan Richards crossed from the right to Steven Snaith who cracked a looping-volley over the head of Harrison from 25 yards.

County Down were reduced to ten men just seconds into the second half. Snaith raced onto a ball over the top of the Down defence. Calum Birney gave chase but upended the Hartlepool striker in the process and was shown a straight red card.

Jordan Richards hit the outside of Harrison’s post from the resultant free-kick and the Down looked to be on the ropes.

Christopher Curran-Cochrane and Scott Burns were introduced by Donald Malomo-Paris in an attempt to get County Down back on level terms. The changes worked immediately as Thomas Healey picked out Burns, who caressed the ball first-time into the corner of the net.

In spite of being down to ten men it was County Down that finished the stronger. Thomas Healey’s cross with two minutes remaining just evaded Jamie Jackson at the back post. Healey then grazed the outside of the Hartlepool post with a left foot effort that almost crept into the net.

Deep into stoppage-time striker Curran-Cochrane surged forward and tried his luck. His right foot shot though was tame and easily gathered by Liam Mooney in the Hartlepool goal.

Team: Harrison, Forsythe, Gordon, Birney, Allen, Robinson, Cherry, Healey, Stephenson, Craig, Morgan.
Subs: Battersby, Burns, Curran-Cochrane, Gallagher, Jackson.
Unused subs: Wallace, Bell.

County Down Milk Cup representatives Bobbie Reid, John Hamilton and Barry Greene lead the way at the opening parade through Coleraine

County Down Premier captain Shane Harrison clears his lines against Hartlepool

The County Down Premier squad and staff at the Milk Cup opening parade

Saturday 24th July 2010 – Conor accepts sponsorship from local haulier

County Down Junior player Conor Savage recently received a sponsorship cheque from Michael Kelso of Michael Kelso and Sons in advance of the Northern Ireland Milk Cup tournament.

Wednesday 21st July 2010 – NFU Mutual drop in with kit bags for the Milk Cup

Rodney Rankin from NFU Mutual attended one of the final County Down training sessions before the tournament kicks off. NFU Mutual have provided sponsorship in the form of kit bags for both squads. We are delighted to have the NFU Mutual on board!

Rodney Rankin from NFU Mutual presents Chairman Bobbie Reid with kit bags.
Also included is committee member Damian McCorry.

The Milk Cup starts with the opening parade through Coleraine this Sunday. Here is a reminder of our fixtures for the opening two days.

Premier section (Group B)
Mon 26 July – 5.00pm Hartlepool Utd v Co. Down at Rugby Avenue Stadium, Coleraine
Tues 27 July – 7.00pm Co. Down v Desportivo Brazil at Showgrounds, Limavady

Junior section (Group B)
Mon 26 July – 3.30pm Watford v Co. Down at Anderson Park, Coleraine
Tues 27 July – Noon Co. Down v Kashima Antlers at Roe Mill, Limavady

Wednesday 21st July 2010 – Campbell in for Johns in Junior squad

Junior manager John Bailie has had to make an enforced change to his squad. Goalkeeper Chris Johns broke a bone in his hand during our Dublin trip and unfortunately the Dromore lad had to admit defeat in his race to be fit for the Milk Cup. Paul Campbell, who was drafted in to train with the squad last month, comes in. Best of luck lads!

Tuesday 20th July 2010 – Both squads ready for lift off

We had a surprise visitor to our training session at the Kilmore playing fields on Saturday. Colin Nelson of CN Joinery made the impromptu call in is helicopter to wish the boys well, and to hand over a sponsorship cheque to Treasurer, Mr John Hamilton. The 2010 Northern Ireland Milk Cup starts with the opening parade through Coleraine this Sunday. County Down’s Junior team kick-off their Milk Cup campaign against Watford on Monday. The Premier squad begin the tournament against League One outfit Hartlepool United on the same day.

Colin Nelson of CN Joinery and daughters Jessica and Megan with the Junior team

Vice-Chairman Ronnie Cromie with Colin Nelson of CN Joinery and his daughters Jessica and Megan

Wednesday 30th June 2010 – Premier squad named for 2010 Milk Cup

The ‘gaffer’ Donald-Malomo Paris has cut his squad from 23 to 18 players following the historic 1-0 win over the Republic of Ireland in Dublin at the weekend.

  1. Shane Harrison
  2. Mark Forsythe
  3. Adam Allen
  4. Thomas Healey
  5. Joshua Robinson
  6. Rory Battersby
  7. Jamie Jackson
  8. Scott Burns
  9. Ryan Craig
  10. Chris Curran-Cochrane
  11. Sean Morgan
  12. Calum Birney
  13. Kurtis Bell
  14. Glenn Stephenson
  15. Curtis Gallacher
  16. Kyle Cherry
  17. Steven Gordon
  18. Andrew Wallace

Wednesday 30th June 2010 – Premier squad beat Rep of Ireland

County Down recorded a momentus 1-0 win over the Republic of Ireland Under-17 team at the AUL grounds in Dublin thanks to Chris Curran-Cochrane’s late strike.

Midfielder Sean Morgan hit the Irish post mid-way through the match. The Republic then had a decent chance from a corner kick, but their striker failed to convert.

County Down conjured a winner with ten minutes remaining. Jonathan Scannell put in a brave tackle to win possession and broke immediately down the left wing. Scannell then whipped in a pinpoint cross that found Curran-Cochrane, who despatched it past the keeper on the half-volley.

Rory Battersby with the Irish captain and officials

The County Down squad that earned a famous victory over the Rep of Ireland

Wednesday 23rd June 2010 – County Down’s Junior team unbeaten following 3 games in Dublin

County Down kicked-off the weekend in Dublin with a 1-1 draw last Friday against a local select team. It was scoreless at the break but County Down eventually took the lead 17 minutes into second-half. Substitute Donagh McAleenan went on a mazy run beating two defenders and reaching the bye-line. He managed to pull the ball back for Kurtis Coffey to side foot home from six yards. The home side levelled five minutes later when Johnny Kane scuffed a clearance and their central midfielder hit a twenty-five yarder that bounced over John Gunning as he dived low to his left.

North Dublin Schools Under-16’s provided the opposition on Saturday and that saw another 1-1 draw. Kurtis Coffey put County Down in front after seven minutes following a great run and cross down the right wing from TJ Murray. Coffey’s first attempt was saved but he reacted quickest and was on hand to force the ball over the line. A defensive mix-up allowed North Dublin to equalise on the stroke of half time. A shot from the edge of the box flew in off the foot of Chris Johns’ left hand post.

The two teams met again on Sunday with County Down running out 3-1 winners. John Bailie’s team took the lead after six minutes. Simon Hanna took a quick free quick lifting the ball over the Dublin defence for Rossa Murray to run onto and despatch into the top corner. Jordan McMillan then volleyed home from six yards from a pinpoint Jamie MacKenzie cross for the second. Slack County Down defending near the corner flag on 23 minutes allowed a right wing cross into the box and Simon Hanna’s attempted clearance fell straight to a North Dublin player who found the bottom corner from the edge of the box. With just a couple of minutes remaining County Down wrapped up the game. Rossa Murray crossed for Jordan McMillan who flicked the ball over his marker. McMillan’s shot was parried by the keeper and Matthew Geddis bundled the loose ball over the line. County Down goalkeeper John Gunning made a phenomenal save nearing the end of the match to keep his side two goals ahead. North Dublin had a free kick on the edge of the box. The initial shot was blocked by a defender with Gunning already diving to his left. The rebound was destined for the net but John made an amazing recovery to acrobatically palm the ball over the bar!

Gary McBride wins a header against North Dublin

Jordan McMillan gives chase against North Dublin

Wednesday 23rd June 2010 – Junior squad trimmed to final 18 players

County Down Junior manager John Bailie has selected his final 18 players for the Milk Cup tournament at the end of July.

The players who have survived the cut are:

  1. Chris Johns
  2. Jay Shiels
  3. Michael Hunsdale
  4. Johnny Kane
  5. Gary McBride
  6. Padraig McGrath
  7. TJ Murray
  8. Sean McGonigle
  9. Kurtis Coffey
  10. Ethan Knipe
  11. Jamie Sharvin
  12. Adam Harwood
  13. Conor Savage
  14. Jamie MacKenzie
  15. Jordan McMillan
  16. Matthew Geddis
  17. Rossa Murray
  18. John Gunning

Tuesday 15th June 2010 – Juniors lift Mourne Cup in soaring heat

County Down retained the Mourne Cup on goal difference at Kilmore on Saturday.

John Bailie’s team played Dundalk in the first match – conceding two late goals in a 2-1 loss. County Down went 1-0 up with a 12th minute close range Jamie Sharvin header from Jamie Mackenzie’s right wing corner. The locals dominated and looked in control until the last couple of minutes. Dundalk equalised with a minute to go when a long free kick from their left back caught the Down defence flat-flooted, and the visiting number nine ran through to score. The same scorer repeated the dose straight from the restart, bursting down the right before grabbing an unlikely winner!

With Dundalk losing their second game 4-1 to Tyrone, County Down went into their final game knowing they needed to beat the Orchard county boys by three clear goals.

County Down took the lead against Tyrone after 22 minutes with a well-worked corner. TJ Murray played the ball to the far post for Johnny Kane to power his header past the keeper. Kurtis Coffey doubled the lead in the first minute in the second half, latching onto a pass in the inside left channel, rounding the keeper and side-footing into the far corner. With Tyrone all set to lift the cup on goal difference, Rossa Murray thumped home a third for County Down with only eight minutes remaining. It proved to be the decisive goal for John Bailie’s boys who will take a huge deal of confidence from the two games.

Michael Hunsdale receives the trophy from Stephen Clarke.

Junior boss John Bailie talks to his players during the break

Match-winner Rossa Murray with the Mourne Cup.

Tuesday 8th June 2010 – Venues and times released for opening fixtures

The Milk Cup organising committee has finalised the venues and times for the opening two days and they are as follows:

Premier section (Group B)
Mon 26 July – 5.00pm Hartlepool Utd v Co. Down at Rugby Avenue Stadium, Coleraine
Tues 27 July – 7.00pm Co. Down v Desportivo Brazil at Showgrounds, Limavady

Junior section (Group B)
Mon 26 July – 3.30pm Watford v Co. Down at Anderson Park, Coleraine
Tues 27 July – Noon Co. Down v Kashima Antlers at Roe Mill, Limavady

Sunday 6th June 2010 – County Down name provisional squads for 2010 Milk Cup

The search is over! After exhaustive trials throughout the county, both managers have selected their panels up to the pre-tournament residential weekend which takes place in Dublin from 18th to 20th June. After Dublin, both panels must be cut to the pre-requisite 18 players for the Milk Cup proper at the end of July.

2010 Junior Panel (23 players)

Goalkeepers
Chris Johns, Dromore; John Gunning, Belfast.

Defenders
Padraig McGrath, Warrenpoint; Conor McMenamin, Downpatrick; Luke Bradley, Saintfield; Adam Harwood, Belfast; Michael Hunsdale, Dundonald; Johnny Kane, Belfast; Gary McBride, Ballywalter; Jay Shields, Dundonald;

Midfielders
Donagh McAleenan, Warrenpoint; Sean McGonigle, Carryduff; Jamie Sharvin, Killyleagh; David Blaney, Ballykinlar; Simon Hanna, Comber; Jamie MacKenzie, Bangor; Conor Savage, Portaferry; TJ Murray, Dundonald; Ethan Knipe, Dundonald;

Forwards
Matthew Geddis, Dromore; Rossa Murray, Portaferry; Kurtis Coffey, Cloughey; Jordan McMillan, Newtownards.

2010 Premier Panel (23 players)

Goalkeepers
Carter Dawson, Belfast; Shane Harrison, Annalong; Andrew Wallace, Donaghadee.

Defenders
Adam Allen, Belfast; Rory Battersby, Banbridge; Kurtis Bell, Bangor; Calum Birney, Belfast; Mark Forsythe, Defender; Steven Gordon, Newtownards; Ben Oliver, Dromore; Joshua Robinson, Belfast.

Midfielders
Scott Burns, Belfast; Kyle Cherry, Belfast; Curtis Gallacher, Belfast; Thomas Healey, Downpatrick; Jamie Jackson, Dundonald; Sean Morgan, Carryduff; Glenn Stephenson, Newtownards; Jonathan Scannell, Newcastle.

Forwards
Ryan Craig, Belfast; Christopher Curran-Cochrane, Killinchy; Andrew Mallen, Banbridge; Andrew Mitchell, Waringstown.

The Junior team will kick-off their Milk Cup campaign against English Championship side Watford on Monday 26th July. The following day, John Bailie’s charges come face-to-face with Japan’s most successful club team Kashima Antlers, who will make their debut at the 2010 Milk Cup.

The Premier squad begin the tournament against League One outfit Hartlepool United FC. Attention then switches to the game on Tuesday, 27th July, when the locals face Desportivo Brasil.

The 2010 Northern Ireland Milk Cup starts with the opening parade on Sunday, 25th July. Matches run from Monday, 26th to Friday, 30th July.

Wednesday 2nd June 2010 – Parents Night a roaring success

There was a packed house at the Ballynahinch Community Centre for the Parents Information night. Nottingham Forest’s David Morgan and Conor Brennan of Leicester City were the special guests. Both players represented the Junior County Down team that finished 6th at last year’s tournament. Milk Cup PRO Jim Sandford and secretary, Jim Weir were also in attendance. Mr Weir addressed players and parents about the tournament and made mention of radical proposals that were in the pipeline. Watch this space!

Linda McAdam presents David Morgan and Conor Brennan with specially-engraved tankers.

Members of the Milk Cup and County Down Committees with special guests David Morgan and Conor Brennan.

PRO Barry Greene gets a laugh out of Conor Brennan and David Morgan.

Monday 31st May 2010 – Shay signs on with Burnley

Shay McCartan receives the County Down Junior Player of the tournament 2009

Yet another player from last year’s Junior squad has joined the ranks of the pro clubs in England. With Conor Brennan and David Morgan now attached to Leicester City and Nottingham Forest respectively, paceman Shay McCartan has signed for Burnley. Shay was our player of the tournament at last summer’s Milk Cup, which also featured Burnley. The teenager, will join the club’s first-year scholars next season.

Clarets’ director of youth development Martin Dobson said: “Shay came onto our scouting radar and we have had him and his parents over here a number of times.

“He was very sought-after and is a talented player who we feel has a future in the game.

“There was a lot of competition from other clubs so we are delighted to have got him and we look forward to working with him in the youth set-up here at Turf Moor.”

Dobson added: “We are very grateful for the assistance and co-operation of his clubs, who have been very honest and open during negotiations.

“We have built up a good relationship with Banbridge Town which we hope will continue to be beneficial to the two clubs.”

McCartan spent several years with Banbridge Town before linking up with Irish Premiership side Glenavon last season.

The Clarets have agreed a compensation fee with both Banbridge and Glenavon for the striker, who is a Northern Ireland Under-16 international. And as part of the deal, the Clarets will also continue to work closely with Banbridge in an on-going youth coaching and player assessment role to identify any further future talent at the Championship club.

Sunday 16th May 2010 – Juniors to face J-League giants while it’s a Brazilian bonanza for Premier squad

County Down Milk Cup representatives Donald Malomo-Paris, Barry Greene and John Hamilton pictured with Northern Ireland greats Pat Jennings (left) and Jim Magilton (2nd right) at the 2010 draw. Also included are Dairy Council chairman William Hanna (centre), Milk Cup chairman Victor Leonard (right) and County Down players Aaron Sills and Philip Egerton.

The draw for the 28th Milk Cup took place in W5 at the Odyssey, Belfast, on Tuesday, 11th May. Former Northern Ireland internationals Pat Jennings and Jim Magilton were the special guests. Two players from last year’s Junior panel – Philip Egerton and Aaron Sills, helped pull the teams out of the hat.

The Junior team will kick-off the campaign against English Championship side Watford on Monday 26th July. The following day, John Bailie’s charges come face-to-face with Japan’s most successful club team Kashima Antlers, who will make their debut at the 2010 Milk Cup. Having won the J-League title seven times, the J-League Cup three times and the Emperor’s Cup three times, Kashima’s young stars-in-waiting will no doubt provide a stern test.

The Premier squad begin the tournament against League One outfit Hartlepool United FC. Attention then switches to the game on Tuesday, 27th July, when the locals face Desportivo Brasil for a second consecutive year. Donald Malomo-Paris’ team will be out to avenge a 3-0 loss to the Brazilians at last year’s competition.

In 2009, a series of quality performances ensured that County Down made history by becoming the first-ever county to make it into the Milk Cup quarter-finals in both age groups in the same year. The Junior team finished 6th overall and picked up the award for the most successful Irish team. The Premier side was put out of the main competition by beaten finalists Sheffield United and finished 8th. This year’s crop of players will be aiming to equal, and hopefully even better those achievements.

The 2010 Northern Ireland Milk Cup starts with the opening parade on Sunday, 25th July. Matches run from Monday, 26th to Friday, 30th July.

Junior fixtures
Monday 26th July – County Down v Watford
Tuesday 27th July – County Down v Kashima Antlers

Premier fixtures
Monday 26th July – County Down v Hartlepool FC
Tuesday 27th July – County Down v Desportivo Brasil

Thursday 18th March 2010 – County Down Junior trials set for big kick-off

The process of selecting the finest players for the County Down Junior squad for the 2010 Northern Ireland Milk Cup is about to get underway.

Former Ards and Bangor captain John Bailie continues as the manager of the Junior team (under 15’s). Raymond Campbell, who played alongside Bailie at Ards, remains as his assistant. Once assembled, the squad will be aiming to emulate last year’s talented crop of players who managed to finish sixth overall.

To qualify, boys must have been born on or after 1 January 1995. If you are a coach or parent and you know of a player who has the ability to represent County Down at the world-renowned Milk Cup tournament, which will take place from 26 to 30 July 2010, be sure to contact the respective trial co-ordinator with details of name, date of birth, address of parent/s, contact number, position played and club/school.

Trials will be split into three Zones:

North Down
This area covers all of Belfast, south of the Lagan and the Ards Peninsula including Bangor & Holywood. Trial co-ordinator is Alan Morton (07728 570601).

South Down
This area takes in Newry, Warrenpoint, Kilkeel, Banbridge, Rathfriland and Dromara. Trial co-ordinators are Peter Houston (07867 767787) and Linda McAdam (call or text 07814 127573).

East Down
East Down covers the Annahilt, Ballynahinch, Carryduff, Downpatrick, Newcastle area and takes in Killyleagh and Comber. Trial co-ordinators are Ronnie Cromie (07788 441342) and Barry Greene ( ).

Once the zonal squads have been selected, the respective panels will play against each other in front of the Junior management.

Thursday 11th February 2010 – Selection for the Premier (under-17) Team

The process of picking the finest players for the 2010 Northern Ireland Milk Cup Premier squad is due to commence. A preliminary squad of thirty players will be in place by the end of March. The squad will have training sessions during April. Following this, a final trial match will take place in May to select 23 players for the provisional squad that will go to a pre-tournament weekend in Dublin.

Selection for the Junior (under-15) team will remain as it was, meaning trials will begin at Easter. Details for these trials will be published in the local press and on this website in due course.

Last year, County Down made history by becoming the first-ever county side to make it into the Milk Cup quarter-finals in both age groups in the same year. The Junior team finished 6th overall and picked up the award for the most successful Irish team. The Premier side was put out of the main competition by beaten finalists Sheffield United and went on to finish 8th.

If you are a coach or parent and you know of an under-17 player who has the ability to represent County Down at the world-renowned Milk Cup tournament, which takes place from 26 July to 30 July 2010, make sure you contact one of the trial co-ordinators with details of name, date of birth, contact number, position played and club/school.

To be eligible for the County Down Premier squad, players must be born on or after 1 January 1993. Furthermore, parents or guardians of players must currently live at an address in County Down.

Trials will be split into three Zones as follows:-

North Down
This area covers the whole of Belfast, south of the Lagan and the Ards Peninsula including Bangor & Holywood. Trial co-ordinator is Peter Cooling (07723 363302).

South Down
This area takes in Newry, Warrenpoint, Kilkeel, Banbridge, Rathfriland and Dromara. Trial co-ordinator is Damian McCorry (07740 909603).

East Down
East Down covers the Annahilt, Ballynahinch, Carryduff, Downpatrick, Newcastle area and takes in Killyleagh and Comber. Trial co-ordinator is Frank McClean (07802 868495).

Once the Zones have selected their respective panels they will play off against each other in front of the management team for the selection of the training squad of 30 players.