More schools than ever have registered for the 2023-24 Danske Bank Boys’ and Girls’ U18 and U16 Schools’ Cup competitions with the Northern Ireland Schools’ Football Association (NISFA).

The Boys’ U16 Schools’ Cup is now the largest football competitions of its kind in Northern Ireland, with 88 schools going head-to-head for the title – a testament to the growing enthusiasm and talent from both teachers and pupils across Northern Ireland.

The launch of the 2023-24 season took place at Dungannon Integrated College earlier this month, with Captains from their school’s teams. The school experienced an historic victory last year when they won the U18 Schools’ Cup for the very first time.

Robert McVeigh, the Chairman of NISFA expressed his delight at this remarkable achievement:

"I am pleased that Danske Bank is expanding its interest in Schools' football by adding the U16 boys’ tournament to their sponsorship. It is encouraging that a record number of schools have entered the competitions. I hope all participants, including players, coaching staff, referees, spectators, and those with an interest, can enjoy their involvement and will emerge with many positive memories.

“The growth of the Danske Bank Schools' Cup Tournaments underscores the significant role that schools' football plays in our country's sporting landscape and we’d like to thank Danske Bank for their continued support. With a focus on nurturing talent, promoting teamwork, and instilling a sense of sportsmanship, these tournaments have become a cornerstone for young athletes to showcase their skills and passion for the game. In Michael O’Neill’s latest squad, no fewer than 15 of the 25 players have been involved in NISFA ran tournaments or teams.”

David Moore, Digital Learning and Wellbeing Consultant at Danske Bank said:

“At Danske Bank, helping local people and communities thrive is one of our passions as a Northern Irish business. One way we do that is through our youth sports sponsorships, and supporting the Northern Ireland Schools’ Football Association, alongside Ulster Schools’ Rugby and Ulster Schools GAA, is a key part of that.

“This is our ninth year in partnership with NISFA, and it’s been fantastic to see the competition grow year on year. It’s clear to us that our partnership is more than a game, and extends to great friendships, real dedication and growing talent for these young men and women playing.

“We’re looking forward to another brilliant season of schools’ football, and would like to wish all schools taking part the best of luck.”

The finals, set to take place in March promise an electrifying display of talent and determination as the finest schools from across the nation compete for the coveted titles.

The Northern Ireland Schools’ Football Association extends its gratitude to all schools, players, coaching staff, referees, sponsors, and supporters who have contributed to making these tournaments a resounding success.


Six people stand outside on a football pitch. Three players from Dungannon Inegrated Colleage and three adults from Danske Bank and NISFA.