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A New Look Mexican Challenge for STATSports SuperCupNI

Newcomers Atlante and Pumas Unam will carry the Mexican challenge at the STATSports SuperCupNI international youth football tournament this summer.

Pumas Unam are based in Mexico City and have signed up for the junior section, while Atlante, from Cancun, will compete in the Premier competition.

“We thought it was a good idea to bring some new faces into the competition this year,” said tournament chairman Victor Leonard.

“We’ve found over the years that clubs who come to us just keep wanting to return!

“They not only feel that the diversity of playing styles their teams encounter is highly beneficial in player development but also the warmth of the welcome they receive keeps drawing them back.”

The Americas will again have strong representation at the event with Chile’s Club Iqique, O’Higgins and Colina all returning across the Atlantic.

Iqique, known as the Sky Blue Dragons, were founded in 1978 with the merger of two clubs. They have a strong Academy set up and are contesting the challenging Premier section in Northern Ireland.

O’Higgins and Colina will rub shoulders with big names such as Manchester United, Rangers and Arsenal in the Junior event.

North Carolina’s NC Elite are also winging their way back with a squad of talented players from across the North American state, as are US-based Global Premier Soccer. Both will feature in the Premier section.

California’s Strikers, based in Huntington Beach, have become a firm favourite with fans here and send their Premier and Junior representatives. Joining them in the Junior Section are Albion Soccer Club from the US.

Canadian club Edmonton made their debut last year, winning their group and finishing eighth overall. They have signed up for Premier action once more.

The tournament begins with a parade of teams and welcoming ceremony in Coleraine on Sunday, July 28, with finals night at Ballymena Showgrounds on Friday, August 2.

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