Schoolboy stars keep the pros on their toes

PUBLISHED : Friday, 03 October, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 03 October, 2003, 12:00am

They were styled the 'bronze men', but four Hong Kong football league players got a golden lesson in humility from a team of schoolboys in a four-a-side friendly this week.

The four South China Athletics Association (SCAA) players were surprised to record a 5-5 draw against the young footballers from Wah Yan College, Hong Kong.

SCAA players Yau Kin-wai, Yeung Ching-kong, Shum Kwok-pui and Leung Tze-chun had been invited to the school to play in a demonstration match to publicise the forthcoming Adidas 4v4 Cup in November.

In front of hundreds of watching students, the players from the Wan Chai school raised eyebrows by scoring the first goal, then going on to take a 3-0 lead. SCAA were then forced to be more aggressive, with Yau pulling back the first goal, but they couldn't stop the students scoring twice more before their counter-offensive paid off. Their equaliser came in the last 90 seconds of the 12-minute match.

But student Ryan Kum Chung-yan, Wah Yan's first goal-scorer, was a little suspicious at the result. 'We never thought we could get three goals first and draw with them. I think it's just because they were being kind to us,' he said. The 18-year-old, who was picked as the man of the match, continued: 'In the end, their fitness and skills are much better than us.'

The avid football player thinks four-a-side soccer is tough as players have to keep moving and there are no goalkeepers. 'It's very physical. If you are not very skilled, you can get an advantage with good fitness,' he said.

The four SCAA footballers said they were impressed by the performance and the basic skills of the students. 'Their performance was beyond our expectations. We were a bit relaxed in the beginning and were forced to be more focused,' grinned Yeung. The Adidas 4v4 Cup is split into six categories: boys' 10 or under, 12 or under, 14 or under, 16 or under, 18 or under and mens' open. Entries close today for the contest on November 1 and 2 (knockout) and 10 (finals). Get application forms from the SCAA, District Leisure Services offices, Adidas shops, Sportshouse and at