Dream prize awaits top junior players

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 September, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 September, 2004, 12:00am

THREE Winners of the Outstanding Player Award in this year's McDonald's Youth Football Scheme will win a trip to the United Kingdom to see Newcastle United take on Arsenal in the English Premier League.

The fantastic prize includes a chance to meet a star player at the club's home ground St James Park, and an opportunity to train with the Newcastle youth team.

More than 20,000 youths aged six to 18 took part in phases one and two of the scheme over the summer. They learned basic skills at more than 40 training venues across eight districts.

At least 1,000 players will take part in the final stage, an inter-district competition that kicked off last Saturday and continues on weekends this month.

This year the scheme has the support of top English side Newcastle United, who visited Hong Kong in July and played against local club Kitchee.

Alice Heung Ching-yee, of co-organisers the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, said: 'We are delighted that Newcastle United are providing such strong support. This is very encouraging and I trust it will have a long-lasting beneficial effect on the local football community.'

More than 1,500 children took part in a promotional 'warm-up' session at Mongkok Stadium on Saturday.

The programme is jointly organised by McDonald's, the Hong Kong Football Association, and the Education Department.