O'Neills Foyle Cup Press Launch 2024

Liverpool Academy forward Trent Kone-Doherty was the Guest of Honour at the Press Launch of this year’s O’Neills Foyle Cup, which took place on Friday, 3rd May, in the Waterfoot Hotel, Derry. Upwards of 730 teams are lining up for the kick-off, an increase on the 588-plus teams who entered last year.

This year’s event is set to be the most popular iteration of the youth tournament yet. According to the Visit Derry website, over 250,000 spectators are expected to attend, and teams will be coming from the UK, Republic of Ireland, Canada, America, China, and mainland Europe.

Seventeen-year-old Trent Kone-Doherty is a homegrown, Derry-born star of the future. He started his footballing career with Foyle Harps, who he joined when he was six years old. He later joined Derry City and at fifteen found himself on the bench for the Candystripes during a Premier Division clash with St Patrick’s Athletic. Interest from across the water was piqued and, after having gone on trial for Liverpool in 2020, he signed for the team in July 2022 and immediately justified his place in the youth team, netting a staggering nine goals in his first ten games.

Trent’s footballing philosophy is simple. He just tries to “play every game to my best and see where that takes me” – words that should be a rule of thumb for every young player competing at this year’s tournament.

Philip Devlin, Secretary of the O’Neills Foyle Cup organising committee, commented: “Following Conor Bradley’s appearance last year, we were delighted to welcome another future Anfield star, Trent Kone-Doherty. It couldn’t be more fitting that a Derry-based celebration of the beautiful game should feature a Derry-born player who will most likely become a regular fixture in Liverpool’s senior team in the coming years. It is really inspiring for our young footballers to see a local Shantallow lad achieving this level of success so early in his career. We thank Trent, who played in the O’Neills Foyle Cup for many years since the age of nine, for kindly agreeing to participate in our Press Launch.”

The O’Neills Foyle Cup will take place at nearly forty venues in Derry, Strabane, Limavady, Eglinton, Greysteel, Dungiven, Coleraine and throughout counties Tyrone and Donegal from Monday, 15th July until Saturday, 20th July, with the finals set to be played at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.

The Foyle Cup will also provide a substantial boost to the local economy, with ‘Foyle Cup Week’ being reported as one of the busiest trading weeks of the city’s calendar, with an estimated £5 million set to be generated for the local economy, according to Tourism NI’s Economic Calculator.

Speaking on behalf of the title sponsors, O’Neills Irish International Sports Company, John Murphy, Business Development Manager, said: “We are excited to once again partner with the Foyle Cup to bring this fantastic tournament to young footballers from all over the world. O’Neills are proud sponsors of this home-grown festival of football, and we look forward to seeing the talented young players who will be competing in 2024 and we wish them all the best of luck. This tournament is not only an opportunity for players to compete and hone their talents but to create friendships and memories that will no doubt last a lifetime. We have to thank everyone involved who helps makes the tournament happen as it is a massive team effort, and we have no doubt it will be another successful year. The excitement is already building, and we can’t wait to see the players as they parade from Ulster University to Guildhall Square to be welcomed by the city's Mayor in July.”

Mr. Devlin paid tribute to the tournament sponsors, including title sponsor O’Neills, Derry City and Strabane District Council, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Seagate, Brunswick Moviebowl, Derry Credit Union, Ulster University, Oddly Good and Inner City Trust.