Fermanagh County Milk Cup chairman Dessie Kerr welcomes Milk Cup chairman victor Leonard to Ferney Park, Ballinamallard.
The Ferney factor will give this summer's Milk Cup a Fermanagh homecoming to remember.
That's the view of County chairman Dessie Kerr who has expressed his pride that the world renown international youth football tournament is marking its 30th anniversary with games at the home of Ballinamallard Football Club.
“This is something very special for all of us involved in the County Committee and Ferney Park is a venue which is well equipped to roll out the red carpet,” said Dessie.
“We receive probably the best support of any of the County teams and for the players and their parents, friends and family, having games at home is such a big thing. We would be hoping to have huge support no matter who the teams are drawn against.”
The opening games for both Fermanagh's Junior and Premier sides will take place on Saturday, July 21 and it will be only the second time in the competition's history that Fermanagh have hosted games.
The matches also present another opportunity for Ballinamallard United FC to highlight their widely acclaimed facilities at Ferney Park.
Club chairman Dessie Quinn said: “We are pleased to be able to host the County boys and we feel Ferney Park is the ideal venue to showcase their talents.
“We look forward to welcoming the tournament which has rightly earned such a high reputation for excellence throughout the world.
“I know the Fermanagh sporting public will make everyone feel at home at Ferney Park."
Milk Cup chairman Victor Leonard added: "The last time we took opening games to the six Counties was nine years ago when we marked the 21st anniversary of the tournament.
“That proved to be a popular decision with our County teams well supported and of course there was an immense feeling of pride among the boys and Committee members thatthey were able to play their first matches in front of large home crowds.
“We have always been aware of the terrific backing the County teams receive from supporters during the week of the competition and we never lose sight of that. It is a vital element of the competition's success.”
Victor added: “I know many people who make the Milk Cup an annual holiday on the North Coast where they enjoy a week watching matches and soaking up the atmosphere across the region. That's a very special part of the tournament and many friendships have been forged and renewed over the years.”
Dessie Kerr thanked County Fermanagh's main sponsor, The Impartial Reporter, for its support, adding: “In difficult economic times it is vital to have financial help but the Impartial Reporter has also given the Premier and junior teams tremendous coverage over the years and we are grateful for that.”