Everton star Darron Gibson grateful for Foyle Cup opportunity
Republic of Ireland midfielder Darron Gibson has launched the 2013 Foyle Cup youth tournament which features a record 216 teams.
The 25 year-old Everton star described the event as a possible route into professional football.
Former Manchester United man Gibson played in the Foyle Cup with the Derry and District team and Dungannon Swifts.
"The competition offered me the opportunities which helped get me to where I am today," he said.
"Young footballers in the city do not have that many chances to showcase their talents.
"Taking part in the Foyle Cup gives them the chance to show scouts from England and Scotland that they can play at a higher level. It is a massive opportunity for the young lads."
"I played twice in the Foyle Cup and it made me a better player."
The 2013 tournament will take place in the Derry, Strabane and Limavady Council and surrounding areas from 22-27 July.
The Foyle Cup began as an eight-team, one-day event in 1992 but has grown into a major youth tournament.