President Michael D Higgins has unveiled the Cup that St Patrick’s Athletic and Sligo Rovers will be competing for this Sunday.

The President’s Cup will serve as a curtain-raiser for the SSE Airtricity League season and will be an annual fixture between the league champions and the FAI Cup winners.

The Saints claimed the league title last season and will have home advantage at Richmond Park as they take on FAI Cup winners Sligo.

Last Friday, officials, players and manages from both clubs visited Áras an Uachtaráin to meet the President as the new trophy was revealed.

Sligo manager Ian Baraclough said: “It'll be a competitive game. We won't come up against anyone better than that this year.

“It's great to be involved in it. What it does for the squad is it gives that final preparation as a game.

“For me personally to meet the President and be invited to the house was fantastic.

“It was something I wouldn't get to do if I wasn't involved with Sligo Rovers and something that we want to be the inaugural winners of.

“We won't take the game lightly even though it is the final pre-season game. We'd like to win in it.

“To go to Richmond Park and do it, in their backyard, would be great.

“Whoever wins on the day will have a good boost going into the league campaign.”

The trophy is engraved in both Irish and English and features a base and band to record the winners each year.

In addition a special medal, featuring an image of President Higgins, has also been commissioned with gold medals being presented to the winners and silver medals to the runners-up.