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BELFAST SUNDAY PREMIER WANT TEAMS.

THE Belfast Sunday Premier League is actively looking for new teams to join the well-established league, which covers the Greater Belfast area.

Formed in 1994, the BSPL has a colourful and proud history with some of the best known players in the country having graduated from its ranks.

The league was formed initially to allow players who worked on a Saturday the opportunity to play a decent, organised level with officials guaranteed for every game.

Current Northern Ireland international striker Liam Boyce played as a 17-year-old for his local side Rushlight Celtic, who over the years were able to boast many established Irish League players.

Mickey Collins, Barry Johnston, Fra Murphy and Neil Quinn - whose goal for Newington knocked Glentoran out of the Irish Cup four years ago - all wore the green and white hoops of Celtic.

Cliftonville's legendary skipper George McMullan won many trophies with St Matthew's before leaving to focus on the Reds and Solitude favourite Gerry Flynn graced the league with Boca Seniors.

The cross-community league began as a vehicle for players who could not play on a Saturday to get a game, and in the early days was made up of bars and businesses such as Morrison's, the Royal Ascot, Belfast Lions, Glenville and Charles Hurst.

Because it was a wellorganised league, its popularity soared and quickly one division was not enough, and at one stage it was a 20-team, two-tiered league.

Discipline is very strict and the BSPL chose not to affiliate to the Irish FA recently in order to maintain its independence and ability to handle disciplinary matters as it deemed fit.

Matches are played at Hydebank near Newtownbreda every Sunday with a 1.30pm kick-off, and qualified referees are guaranteed for each game.

If you are interested, contact league Chairman Gabe on 07761 001980 or email bspleague@gmail.com.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 10, 2016
Words:306
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