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U18s SuperCupNI Tilt Against Valencia Ends in Draw

Pre-season is in full gear for everyone at the club

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Liverpool v Middlesbrough: U18 Premier League Photo by Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Pre-season work for everyone at Liverpool FC is in full swing as the U18s participated in their first competitive match. The young guns took to the field in the SuperCupNI in Northern Ireland facing Valencia’s U18 squad.

The match ended in a draw with second half strikes from Keylor Figueroa on behalf of the Reds and Joaquim Utges providing the leveler for Valencia. The official match report makes it seem like it was a lively match.

For those, perhaps like me, that may not be familiar with what the SuperCupNI is, it’s a long running youth tournament that takes place in Northern Ireland every year. According to their Wikipedia, the tournament began back in the stone ages of 1983 - mere months after I was born - and has been running continuously ever since.

While it might be easy to dismiss the claims that some icons of the game have spent time in the tournament (the Wiki entry specifically mentioned Paul Scholes and Wayne Rooney without providing a citation), it becomes less of a stretch when you look at the list of participants over the years. Based on the winners table, Liverpool have participated in the tournament at least since 1987, making it a competition that we likely have some affection for.

An interesting wrinkle with the competition is that it seems to feature both club sides as well as national team sides, with all of the teams competing in the age appropriate groups. I don’t know if this is a common occurrence in youth tournaments but that’s a really cool feature for local fans of the game that might opt to attend a few matches at the SuperCupNI.

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