Celtic academy side set to return to renowned tournament after 3-year absence

By Lewis Laird

February 2, 2023

A Celtic academy set is set to take part in the SuperCupNI tournament for the first time in over three years this summer.

The competition, which takes place in Northern Ireland and was previously known as the ‘Milk Cup’, has previously welcomed clubs from across the globe.

The list includes the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United, Valencia and Bayern Munich, as well as a number of local clubs.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Over the years, a number of Celtic youth sides have taken part in the competition, going up against other academies from across the UK and the rest of the world.

There are three different age categories that clubs can enter their youth sides, which include the Minor (born on/after 01/01/2010), Junior (born on/after 01/01/2009) and Premier (born on/after 01/01/2007) sections [SuperCupNI].

Celtic’s last involvement at the tournament came back in 2019 when a Hoops side reached the final but were unfortunately beaten by American outfit NC Elite.

In previous years, the Bhoys have pulled off fantastic results, such as defeating Manchester United’s under-19s side 3-1 in a one-off tournament opener.

A double from Ewan Henderson helped the youngsters achieve success that day, with current first-team player Stephen Welsh featuring.

This afternoon, it was announced that a Celtic academy side would be returning for the first time in just under three years to take part in the youngest section of the competition.

Photo by Steven Markham/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Reacting to the announcement, tournament chairperson Victor Leonard said [Belfast Live]: “We were delighted to see Celtic at the tournament in 2019 and their manager at the time Neil Lennon was very keen for the club to play its part in the tournament.

“Neil is a tournament graduate, and he has given the seal of approval for teams from Hibernian and Celtic to attend the tournament in the past.

“Over the last number of weeks, we have some very positive discussions with staff at the Academy at Celtic and we were delighted that they confirmed their place and they have told us everyone at the Academy is looking forward to coming back to Northern Ireland.

“The Minor Section in recent years has been highly competitive and it has provided some of our local sides a chance to test themselves against some of the very best from across the world.”

The young Hoops will be joined by another SPFL side in Kilmarnock, who are making thir return to the tournament. Whilst clubs frm the United States and Caribbean are also set to take part.

It should be a fantastic opporutntiy for some of the younger players currently at the club, who are at the very start of attempting to forge their careers in football.

Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images

The tournament is set to kick off later this year in Northern Ireland, on Sunday 23rd of July, before coming to a close on Friday 28th of July.

In other news, One year since the ultimate Ange Postecoglou Celtic quote; similar comment made this week.