A TOTAL of 16 teams, including one side from New York, are set to take part in this year's Rose Cup under-age football tournament.
The under-13s football competition takes place at the Kerins O'Rahillys and Na Gaeil Grounds on Saturday, August 17 and, in what will be a dream come true for any young athlete, the captain of the winning team will lift the Rose Cup in front of some 30,000 people after the Rose Parade on Saturday night
Now in its fifth year the competition, sponsored by Oaklands Daybreak, is a prestigious event on the GAA Juvenile calendar and is jointly run by John Drummey Communications and Coiste Trá Lí under the banner of the Rose of Tralee International Festival.
"Over the past five years teams from Down, Derry, Roscommon, Dublin, Limerick, Tipperary, Louth and Mayo have travelled to play against each other and a number of Kerry clubs. To coincide with the Rose Gathering this year we are delighted to welcome the Shannon Gaels Club from New York City to join in the excitement that the event generates," said event organiser John Drummey.
"Once again a special word of thanks must be extended to everyone in Coiste Trá Lí and the clubs who will be hosting visiting players," said John, who also heaped praise on Oaklands Daybreak and Lee Strand.
Plans for this year's event are still being finalised but a total of 16 teams, including 12 from Kerry, will compete at two Tralee GAA venues – Kerins O'Rahilly's and Na Gaeil.
Each team will play three games of 20 minutes and the top teams will compete for the Rose Cup and Rose Shield. These will be presented to the winning captains by the 2012 Rose of Tralee, Nicola McEvoy, after the Rose of Tralee Parade.
The players and their mentors will also get to sample the carnival atmosphere of the Festival. Every participating player has been invited to join in the celebrations and take part in the Rose of Tralee Parade through the streets of Tralee on Saturday evening.
The games will take place from 10.15am on Saturday, August 17.