ASPIRE Academy for Sports Excellence has defeated some of the best teams in European football at the Milk Cup Tournament — one of the most prestigious youth football contests in Europe.
The Milk Cup was established in 1983 in Northern Ireland, and has attracted teams from 56 countries around the world including Europe, the USA, Africa, the Far East, South America, the Middle East, Australia, Russia, New Zealand and Canada.
Players who have taken part in the competition include David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, Joe Cole, Peter Crouch, Ryan Giggs and Belozoglu Emre.
The 1993 ASPIRE team finished in the sixth place in the BT Northern Ireland Trophy having beaten Chelsea 2-1 in the first of the play-offs. The team were eventually beaten 3-0 by Norwegian side Rosenborg in the next round.
In the early stages of the tournament, ASPIRE beat Londonderry 1-0 to qualify for the Trophy tournament, but in the quarter-finals ASPIRE were beaten 1-0 in a very close game against County Tyrone, and went on to play Chelsea. Michael Browne, Football Head Coach, ASPIRE, said: "The ASPIRE 1993 team have done the Academy and the whole of Qatar proud. To beat teams like Chelsea in such a high-profile competition shows just how far we have come. In testing themselves against some of the best young players in the world, the ASPIRE Student Athletes will take a great deal of experience from the tournament."
This is the third year that ASPIRE have competed in the Milk Cup, where they finished third in 2006 and 2007.
ASPIRE Academy for Sports Excellence in Doha was created in 2004 with the dual aims of identifying and transforming promising student athletes into world-renowned champions across a wide range of sports and to act as a beacon to draw sporting culture into the center of life in Qatar and the surrounding region.