Banbridge lad Jack Chambers is hoping he can lead his Down squad to success at this year’s Milk Cup.
The Linfield Youth player is one of the Down junior squad’s leading lights and the centre-midfielder is thriving on the chance to play a big part in his side’s campaign, alongside Hillsborough lad Lee Bailie.
He has done just that in their warm-up matches, skippering the side to victory in the George Reynolds Memorial Cup as their preparations began.
Chambers even set up the opening goal of that campaign during the 6-3 win over the Cavan and Monaghan Youth League.
He also set up the opener in their final victory, a 6-0 crushing of rivals County Armagh, before picking up the trophy.
Chambers was also heavily involved during the recent 3-1 win over the Dundalk Schoolboy League and all of that has given him a lot of confidence going into the main event.
He said: “I’m feeling good but obviously there are some nerves ahead of a big tournament like this. I reckon we have a good chance of doing well with nine internationals in the ranks.
“As a team, our only aim is to be compact when we are defending and attack from the off. Personally, I’m hoping to contribute with a few goals and assists as well as doing my defensive duties.
“I’m confident but level headed and have to make sure that I don’t get carried away in such big games like the Brentford game.”
That match-up is the outstanding fixture of the junior side’s group schedule. Chambers and his team-mates who remember last year’s disappointment will be out to get their own back.
“I’m looking forward to that game the most because Brentford are a big club from England. I played for the junior side last year and we were closely beaten 4-3 when we played them,” said Chambers.
The Banbridge Academy pupil singles out last year’s tournament as his career highlight to date, although his international appearances, in particular a 0-0 draw with football giants Belgium, aren’t far behind.
Chambers goes into the Milk Cup used to winning, have helped guide Linfield U16s to success last season.
He said: “People were writing us off at the start of the season but we ended up runner up of 2 trophies and winning one as well as winning the All-Ireland beating St Francis 4-1.”
What he and his Down side would give for more success next week.