A major youth football tournament is scheduled for Ballymoney on the May Day Bank Holiday this year, the Times can exclusively reveal.
An application to hold the tournament for various teenage levels at the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre was considered at a meeting of the Leisure and Amenities Committee of Ballymoney Borough Council and given full backing.
The decision is due to be rubber-stamped at the full council meeting in March which will then mean a large number of footballers, their families and supporters will come to the town on Monday, May 5, for the prestigious event.
Alderman Bill Kennedy, who is chair of the Committee, said it was full recognition that facilities at the Joey Dunlop Leisure were second to none and fully justified the council’s expenditure on the complex.
“We invested considerably in the football pitches at the JDLC and it is paying off. We already have the Milk Cup there and now the Irish Football Association recognise that we are more than capable of hosting such a big youth tournament,” Alderman Kennedy said.
The May Day event will herald the beginning of a month of major events in the Ballymoney/north coast area. The much talked about Giro d’Italia cycle race will pass through Ballymoney on Saturday, May 10, and a few days later the North West 200 will take place.
Alderman Kennedy said: “No one needs reminding that all these events present a golden opportunity for everyone to showcase their area.”