Dave Watson

By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor

Dave Watson has challenged his side to repeat their Dale Farm Milk Cup form of the past two years when the Magpies once again take part in the prestigious youth competition in Northern Ireland this summer.

United reached the final in 2012, inspired by player of the tournament Adam Campbell, but lost to an impressive Desportivo Brazil side in front of Alan Pardew before finishing as runners-up to Liverpool in last year's subsidiary Globe final.

And Under-18s Coach Watson is hoping for another strong showing from his charges this time around when the competition begins with the traditional parade of competing teams through Coleraine on Sunday, July 27th.

The tournament concludes with finals night at Ballymena Showgrounds on Friday, August 1st and Watson said: "We're hoping we'll do well again. Obviously we don't know what we're coming up against, what the opposition's like, but we're going there with great memories.

"The lads learn a lot from the tournament. It's a tremendous competition - some games are televised and they're placed on decent pitches so it's a great experience for the kids. It really is good and the public over in Northern Ireland really love the tournament so it's well supported.

"It's all about winning. We're at the development stage but there's a cup at stake now and the kids have got to get into that winning mentality. That's what it is when we go to the Milk Cup - it's all about progressing as far as we can and hopefully trying to win the cup."

Spanish side Espanyol will make their debut in the competition this year while Dublin club Cherry Orchard are back in the line up.