AUCKLAND, 22 May 2003: Samoa will be representing the Oceania Football Confederation at the Northern Ireland Milk Cup from 19-25 July. It will be the second time an island nation has represented Oceania at this prestigious international youth tournament since Solomon Islands sent a team two years ago. Australia sent a youth team in 2002.
The assistance OFC is providing is part of its ongoing efforts to promote youth development and providing opportunities for the island nations to experience international football.
The Samoa Football (Soccer) Federation is currently in the process of selecting its national under-15 selection which will be entered in the junior section of the tournament.
The draw for the Milk Cup was done by organisers in Belfast last week. Samoa has been drawn in Group One alongside Preston North End (England), Livingston (Scotland), County Armagh (Northern Ireland).
The Otago Youth team from New Zealand has also been entered for the Milk Cup, making it two teams from Oceania that will be lining up in Northern Ireland. The Otago team is in the premier section and have been drawn in a daunting group which contains Manchester United (England), Panathinaikos (Greece) and County Armagh (Northern Ireland).
The Milk Cup is one of the premier youth football tournaments in the Northern Hemisphere. It regularly attracts some of the finest clubs and international teams in the world. England star, David Beckham, is just one of many active professionals that have graced the Milk Cup stage in past tournaments. This year’s tournament comprises three sections; junior (U-15), premier (U-17) and elite (U-19). The elite section is by invite only and this year will be made up of national teams from Brazil, Northern Ireland, Wales, Denmark, Paraguay, Scotland, Poland and the USA.