The Northern Ireland Schools Football Association (NISFA) has today announced an extension to its partnership with Danske Bank for this year’s Northern Ireland U18 Schools Cup.
The Danske Bank U18 Schools Cup is the largest schools competition in the country with 72 schools entering the competition this year.
NISFA Chairman, Paul Kerr, commented: “We are delighted to have Danske Bank agree to sponsor one of our competitions. This year, we have changed the structure of the NI Schools Cup. The Northern Ireland U18 cup is our biggest competition and we feel it should be on par with the other school’s finals on St. Patrick’s day.
“NISFA would like to thank Danske Bank for its continued support to schools football and we feel it is a partnership that can grow in years to come. This year we have organised the U16 and U18 schools competitions so that both finals will take place on St. Patrick’s Day at the same venue. The U18 final will kick off in the morning and the U16 final takes place in the afternoon.
“We would also like to thank the BDSSA who kindly agreed to give up their St. Patricks Day U16 final to accommodate all the major sports in the country having their schools final on the same day the 17th of March.”
Mr Kerr also thanked the schools entering the competition, the teachers who freely gave up their time to coach the players, the parents who support and encourage their children and most importantly the boys who put in all the hard hours of training.
“This is a great opportunity for the schools to play at an Irish league ground in front of thousands of their supporters and peers and I would like to thank everyone who has come to cheer on their boys at this festival of football,” he added.
Ian Russell, Danske Bank Regional Manager commented: “At Danske Bank our youth partnerships are very important to us; from our support of this competition to our support of schools’ rugby and GAA we are committed to the development of young sporting talent across Northern Ireland.
“And we are very proud of our association with NISFA; a look at the current Northern Ireland squad gives a clear indication of how boys have come through schools’ football, using it as a stepping stone to move into a professional playing career.
“We are also committed to supporting young people off the sports field and many of our staff visit schools regularly to deliver financial literacy modules through our SMART Partnership programme.”