SuperCupNI: Ballymena United are 'buzzing' for Manchester United U23 test - Jeffrey

Ballymena United
Ballymena will put out a full-strength side against United's U23s

Ballymena United manager David Jeffrey says his players are "buzzing" at the prospect of facing Manchester United.

The Sky Blues take on the Red Devils' Under-23 side on Monday 29 July at the Ballymena Showgrounds as part of this year's SuperCupNI.

After bowing out of the Europa League, Monday will represent another stern pre-season test for the Braidmen.

"The game has attracted a lot of attention," said Jeffrey, who was a youth player at Old Trafford.

"We are hoping for a large turnout to see the quality on show from our visitors."

He added: "My players are buzzing too. This is a marvellous occasion for them on their home ground ahead of the new season."

'An excellent opportunity'

Manchester United will also be in action on Saturday evening when they face Rangers in the tournament's curtain-raiser at the Coleraine Showgrounds.

United were defeated 3-1 by Celtic in last year's pre-tournament game.

"It's an excellent opportunity for our players to how what they can do," says United's head of education and welfare, Dave Bushell.

Glengormley teenager Ethan Galbraith is hoping to be involved for United. The 18-year-old midfielder made his debut for the club's U23 team earlier this year.

Highly-rated Scot Ethan Hamilton may also feature for the Mancunians while Northern Ireland youth internationals Chris McKee and Kyle McClelland could line out for Rangers.

United have been a regular fixture throughout the tournament's 36-year history, winning six titles from the 14 finals they have appeared in, the most recent of which was last year's Junior final defeat to County Antrim.

Rangers have also tasted SuperCupNI success in the past, having won the Premier section in 1984 and 1992 as well as clinching the Junior title in 1985.

Top Stories