Sports

Tullyvallen Rangers set for German challenge

Thursday, 2 February 2017

IT may be well be just over eight months away from Northern Ireland's crunch World Cup qualifier against Germany, but this weekend in South Armagh, Tullyvallen Rangers will take on a visiting team from Hanover.

The Hillview Park side will welcome SV Sportfreunde Anderten to Armagh one year after they travelled over to Lower Saxony to take on their German visitors.

Tullyvallen Rangers player Jason Henry explained how the two clubs became friendly.

“Basically after university I decided that I wanted to move away from Northern Ireland and experience living somewhere else and I moved over to Hanover.

“I got work in an Irish bar over there and basically I got chatting to an English man about football and he said he had connections with SV Sportfreunde Anderten and he invited me out to training.

“From there I started playing for the reserve team and eventually moved on to play for the first team.

“To be honest the standard is very similar to the league Tullyvallen Rangers play in and last year we got in touch with some of the lads at Anderten and 13 of us went over for a weekend and played a game against them."

During their trip to Lower Saxony, the Hillview Park outfit took in a Bundesliga game and attended a Hanover Scorpions ice-hockey game.

Jason said that Tullyvallen were adamant that they would return the favour and invite the Anderten team over to Northern Ireland and their German visitors arrive on Thursday, February 2 for a four day tour of the area.

“They have a squad of 14 coming over and there are a few family members and wives and girlfriends coming over and staying until Sunday.

“The match is the focal point of the trip and we will play them on Saturday at 11am at Hillview Park, but we have plans to visit Dublin and the Guinness Factory and then we are going to the races in Dundalk on Friday evening.

“We are also bringing our guests along to the big Irish Cup game at Loughgall and it should be a great trip for them!"

Jason concluded by saying that they are hoping to build upon the relationship with the Hanover based club.

“Last year was the first year we did the trip over and we are really hoping to turn this into an annual thing.

“Hopefully we can continue to build upon the relationship and maybe even look into bringing over some of our youth teams to Germany for games.

“Everyone is really looking forward to welcoming our German friends to the area and we are hoping it is just as successful as our trip to Hanover last year."

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