Milk Cup 2015: United poised for return to Milk Cup

Milk Cup tournament organiser Victor Leonard is having ongoing discussions with Manchester United about a possible return to the Milk Cup

Manchester United could make a swift return to the Milk Cup despite their surprise absence from the 2015 event.

Tournament chairman Victor Leonard has revealed talks are ongoing over the possible tweaking of age groups to accommodate the English club giants.

United representatives will attend next month's tournament, which begins on 26 July, with a meeting planned with senior club officials in September.

Leonard said: "there are issues but I'm very confident they can be ironed out".

The Old Trafford club stunned tournament organisers last month by withdrawing from this year's competition.

Leonard insisted there had been "no major disagreement" with the club,

"There is no issue with the quality of the tournament, but there are issues with the club regarding the knock-on effects of the age groups we get in at 18.

"Where those boys are being pushed into the Under-21s or senior section when the club this year will be touring America and other parts of the world, and players are being called into those panels.

Manchester United celebrate winning the Milk Cup in 2014
Manchester United celebrate winning the Milk Cup in 2014

"The club have asked me to say very little about what the future holds because they are going to talk to us about the possibility of where we go after this.

"Everything is on the table."

Northern Ireland record goalscorer David Healy, who made the Milk Cup draw at the Odyssey in Belfast on Wednesday, said he could not understand why United had chosen not to send a team to the tournament this year.

"The reasons behind it, I don't know, but I'm sure with the local interest, they would have loved to have seen a Man United team here.

"The public will be disappointed, and I know the organisers are disappointed, but the tournament is a big enough tournament now. It's gone global.

"There are a lot of other teams now."

2014 beaten finalists County Antrim will have a derby game against County Londonderry in the opening series of Junior games at this year's Milk Cup.

County Fermanagh's junior opponents include Sydney United and Rangers.

In the Premier competition, County Down will be up against last year's beaten finalists, French side Vendee, who were beaten by Manchester United in last year's Premier final.

Milk Cup fixtures

Junior competition

AS Roma USA: (opponent) Rangers, Sydney United, Co Fermanagh

Brentford: Plymouth Argyle, Strikers, Co Down

Co Antrim: Co Londonderry, North Dublin, SL Zacatepac

Co Armagh: Co Tyrone, Right to Dream, Swindon Town

Co Down: Donegal SL, Strikers, Brentford

Co Fermanagh: Dundalk SL, AS Roma USA, Rangers

Co Londonderry: Co Antrim, OC Blues, Southampton

Co. Tyrone: Co Armagh, GPS FC Bayern, Liverpool

Donegal Schools: Co Down, Santa Marta de Liray, Plymouth Argyle

Dundalk SL: Co Fermanagh, Sydney United, Sheffield United

GPS FC Bayern: Liverpool, Right to Dream, Co Tyrone

Liverpool: Swindon Town, GPS FC Bayern, Co Tyrone

North Dublin SL: OC Blues, Zacatepac, Co Antrim

OC Blues: Southampton, North Dublin SL, Co Londonderry

Plymouth Argyle: Brentford, Santa Marta de Liray, Donegal SL

Rangers: Sheffield United, AS Romas USA, Co Fermanagh

Right to Dream: GPS FC Bayern, Swindon Town, Co Armagh

Santa Marta de Liray: Strikers, Plymouth Argyle, Donegal SL

Sheffield United: Rangers, Sydney United, Dundalk SL

Southampton: Zacatepac, OC Blues, Co Londonderry

Strikers: Brentford, Santa Marta de Liray, Co Down

Swindon Town: Liverpool, Right to Dream, Co Armagh

Sydney United: AS Roma USA, Sheffield United,Dundalk SL

Zacatepac: Southampton, North Dublin SL, Co Antrim


Alset Colombia: Real Sociedad, Otago Academy, Co Armagh

Cherry Orchard: Co Down, OC Blues, O'Higgins FC

Club América: Vendee, OC Blues, Cherry Orchard

Co Antrim: Co Tyrone, Strikers, Higashi Fukuoka

Co Armagh: Real Sociedad, Alset Colombia, Otago Academy

Co Down: Cherry Orchard, Club America, Vendee

Co Fermanagh: Co Londonderry, Partick Thistle, Malaga CF

Co Londonderry: Co Fermanagh, Lusaka Academy, CSKA Moscow

Co Tyrone: Co Antrim, Right to Dream, Newcastle United

CSKA Moscow: Malaga CF, Lusaka Academy, Co Londonderry

Higashi Fukuoka: Newcastle United, Strikers, Co Antrim

Lusaka Academy: CSKA Moscow, Partick Thistle, Co Londonderry

Malaga CF: CSKA Moscow, Partick Thistle, Co Fermanagh

Newcastle United: Higashi Fukuoka, Right to Dream, Co Tyrone

O'Higgins FC: Vendee, OC Blues, Cherry Orchard

OC Blues: Club America, O'Higgins FC, Cherry Orchard

Otago Academy: Real Sociedad, Alset Colombia, Co. Armagh

Partick Thistle: Lusaka Academy, Malaga CF, Co Fermanagh

Real Sociedad: Alset Colombia, Otago Academy, Co Armagh

Right to Dream: Newcastle United, Strikers, Co Tyrone

Strikers: Right to Dream, Higashi Fukuoka, Co Antrim

Vendee: O'Higgins FC, Club America, Co Down