Rafa Benitez recently spoke in detail about the need to bring Newcastle United and the local community closer together.

One of the initiatives he suggested replicating from his time at Liverpool was to have a special football tournament for local kids.

Today the club have confirmed that the inaugural holding of this new cup competition will take place next Monday (4 July) at the Newcastle United Academy headquarters.

Both boys and girls will take part in the event which will see eight primary schools represented.

The lucky children invited to the cup competition, will also get the chance to meet Rafa Benitez himself, as well as a number of his players.

Hats off to Rafa Benitez and everybody else who has made this event happen.

Newcastle United official statement:

‘Newcastle United are delighted to confirm the launch of a new children’s football tournament to further foster and enhance ties between the football club and the local community.

The competition, entitled the Newcastle United Foundation 1892 Cup, will take place annually and involve primary school children from across the city. The inaugural tournament will take place at the Newcastle United Academy on Monday, 4th July 2016.

Eight local primary schools will each field two eight-a-side football teams comprising Year 3 and Year 4 children, aged seven to nine. Each school will be represented by both a boys’ and girls’ team meaning a total of 128 local children will be taking part in the tournament, which kicks off at Little Benton at 2.15pm.

Playing kit, including boots, is being provided for all children by Sports Direct whilst Newcastle United is offering transport to and from the venue for the eight participating schools.

United manager Rafa Benitez, along with a number of first-team players, will join the children at the end of the tournament to award prizes and mementoes before the day is rounded off with a celebration barbecue hosted by the manager alongside Club and Foundation staff.

Rafa Benitez said: “We are really proud of this new tournament. It is important to organise activity like this to bring the Club and the community of Newcastle closer together. As we come back for pre-season training, this tournament is the perfect way to do that.

“Our Foundation already is doing lots of fantastic work in the city and the region. They have been very happy to add this tournament to their schedule of events in the community and I thank them for this and for all their hard work. I am sure this event will be really successful and great fun too!”

Foundation Manager Kate Bradley added: “We are delighted to hold the inaugural Newcastle United Foundation 1892 Cup, this year bringing together primary schools from the East and West of Newcastle. This event tops off a busy programme of activities in 2015/16 which has seen the Foundation work in over 200 local primary, secondary and special educational needs schools.”