Prepared to take on the best

Mosgiel Football Club players (from left) Hamish Cotter, Peter Coates, Riley Anderton and Daniel Gruppelaar have been selected for the Southern team to compete in Ireland. Photo supplied.
Mosgiel Football Club players (from left) Hamish Cotter, Peter Coates, Riley Anderton and Daniel Gruppelaar have been selected for the Southern team to compete in Ireland. Photo supplied.
Four young Mosgiel Football Club players will have the opportunity of a lifetime when they compete in the Milk Cup in Ireland later this month.

Seventeen-year-olds Peter Coates and Riley Anderton, of Taieri College, and Hamish Cotter and Daniel Gruppelaar, of John McGlashan College, are part of a Southern-based team.

''I'm really excited,'' Coates, a centre back, said.

''It's a massive opportunity for us coming from club football at Mosgiel to compete against the best age-group players in the world.

''We can see what level we are at compared to the future all-stars of football.''

Anderton, a striker or wing, will use it as a test.

''I will see how I match up against other players from around the world,'' he said.

''It will determine if I pursue football or not.''

Anderton's dream is to become a professional footballer and he is seeking a scholarship to a United States university next year.

''I'm nervous when I think about how I'm going to stand up against the other teams in Ireland, '' he said. ''But I'm excited and confident to see how I will go.''

Coates' dream is to represent New Zealand at a World Cup.

''I'm confident about competing in Ireland because we have a strong team. If we play our own style of football we should do OK.''

The Milk Cup, held annually in Northern Ireland, was first held in 1983.

Many current international footballers have taken part, most notably Charlie Davies, Jonathan Spector, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney.

Otago footballers have always formed the bulk of the Southern team.

Southern plays two warm-up games in Manchester, against the Stoke Youth Academy and the Manchester City Development team.

It travels to Belfast on July 6 and its pool games are against CSKA Moscow, Queensland Gold Coast and Bohemena (Ireland).

Mosgiel Football Club, Taieri College and John McGlashan College have supported the boys to make the trip.