The 14th Galway Cup is less than two weeks away. The competition is one of the leading underage football tournament in Europe and this year will run from the 8thto 11thof August.
extratime.iewill be covering all the action with our reporter Brendan Graham and photographer Steve Alfred taking in the tournament which is hosted in Salthill Devon’s home in Drom.
50 teams will compete across five sections: 2003 Premier, 2005 Super Elite, 2005 Elite, 2005 Club and 2006 Boys.
The focal point will be the 2005 Super Elite. That section will be contested by Shrewsbury Town, Leeds United, Chicago Fire, Colorado Rapids, Sligo Leitrim District League and the NDSL.
While this section has an international flavour and is likely to showcase some extraordinary talents, the other age groups will be equally competitive and will throw up some new talents and some future stars!
The Galway Cup has featured over the years a number of players who have gone on to play at a very highest level in the game.
Most notably from a domestic perspective that list includes Greg Cunningham (Cardiff City), Daryl Horgan (Preston North End), Joe Shaughnessy (St. Johnstone), Conor Shaughnessy (Leeds United), Ryan Manning (Queens Park Rangers) and Grahame Burke (Preston North End).
Each of those players received Most Valuable Player awards at previous Galway Cups.
Looking further afield, Ipswich Town, who won’t be here this year but have illuminated the tournament in the past, brought Ben Knight to the Galway Cup and lo and behold Manchester City have just forked out a cool million pounds sterling for his services!
Knight, currently in the England U16 squad, is not the first guy with Galway Cup credentials that ‘City’ has scooped up!
Brahim Diaz lit up the Galway Cup with Malaga and soon afterwards he moved to City, as a 14-year-old. He has now advanced to the first team squad – starting last week against Borussia Dortmund!
Conor Wickham (Crystal Palace) was another Ipswich product who would reach the top and has commanded an estimated €17 million in transfer fees to date; bizarrely he is still eligible to play for Ireland, North or South, as he has not been capped at full international level for England.
This year’s tournament will as ever feature wall to wall football over a four day period with full coverage each day on extratime.ie.
The Galway Cup TV will feature each day on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/galwaycup/ - with a mix of interviews and live streaming of selected games.
Damien Duff brought his underage Shamrock Rovers side to the competition last year and here is what he had to say about the tournament then: