Plymouth Argyle hope to return to Milk Cup youth competition
PLYMOUTH Argyle are set to be represented again at the prestigious Milk Cup in Northern Ireland this year.
The Pilgrims missed out on the chance to compete against the likes of Premier League giants such as Liverpool and Everton in the annual youth tournament last year due to the club being in administration.
But the Green Taverners in partnership with Argyle have formed a committee to ensure that Kevin Hodges' academy team (13-15 year-olds) will be able to take part in this year's competition, which will be held between July 27 and August 3.
Academy manager Hodges said: "It was very disappointing that some of the schoolboys missed the opportunity last year and that I am delighted that the Green Taverners have agreed to fund raise to enable our schoolboys to return to Northern Ireland this summer.
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"I have taken squads across to the Milk Cup and it is a fantastic opportunity for the players to compete against some very big clubs.
"The boys stay in a hotel/guest house, train and play in a fixture every day.
"It's a really good experience for them to appreciate how demanding training and playing every day can be as well as having the experience of being away from home.
"We ensure they are eating at the correct times and that they recover correctly after each match.
"I know the boys who have participated in the past have thoroughly enjoyed the week and it has been an integral part of their all-round development."
Green Taverners spokesman Gary McGuire said: "It's great to be involved with this project working closely with PAFC, the Argyle Foundation and local businesses.
"We as a committee will work hard to raise the necessary funds (£15,000-£20,000) to ensure that the Academy players get similar backing as others teams competing.
"This in no way will detract from the Green Taverners primary function of accelerating staff payments and will be kept totally separate.
"PAFC Youth Academy along with other community projects are areas where we envisage the Green Taverners concentrating once the staff accelerated payments are complete."
Argyle chairman James Brent said: "'On behalf of the club, I would thank the Green Taverners for their continued support.
"Our community and youth sit at the heart of PAFC and we are delighted with that, with the Green Taverners, the Green Army's and local business help, our talented youth will play once more in this prestigious competition."
The committee to raise funds to send the young Greens to Northern Ireland has already received a boost from the Argyle Foundation.
Carl Winson, the Argyle Foundation administrator, said: "The foundation is a lottery system set up to help raise funds for the youth project at Plymouth Argyle.
"In recent weeks we have been able to commit substantial monies to start the ball rolling in getting the lads to a great tournament, and helping develop their careers by backing the committee and the Argyle Foundation can help the youth system grow and have solid foundations to produce great young talent in the future."