Caroliners striker Chan wins HK's Player of the Year
South China striker Chan Siu-ki became the second-youngest player to win the Player of the Year award last night after steering Hong Kong to success at the 2009 East Asian Games.
The 24-year-old South China striker received the highest number of votes among the 11 winners of the Adidas Hong Kong Top Footballer Awards.
'I believe the East Asian Games gold medal has a lot to do with the honour,' said Chan. 'After the victory, the status of soccer was lifted almost overnight and received a high profile in the community. We all became heroes of the city.
'But soccer is a team sport and I have my teammates at both club and international level to thank for their unfailing support throughout the season. As a South China player, I have more opportunities to perform at both domestic and international competitions to catch the eyes of the public and the selectors.'
The 11 winners were selected by 50 per cent public votes, 25 per cent selection panel votes and 25 per cent media votes. Each of the winners receives HK$5,000, while Chan gets an extra HK$30,000 for the top honour.
The youngest player to win the top award was Leung Nan-yan who was only a few months younger than Chan when he played for South China in 1978 to clinch the inaugural award.
Chan said the honour would make him work harder in the new season, with the AFC Cup as the ultimate target.
'We want to become the first team from Hong Kong to win the AFC Cup and I strongly believe we have the quality to do so,' he said.
South China dominated the awards yesterday, accounting for seven out of the 11 winners. There was a winner for each position. Two of the other winners - Yapp Hung-fai, of Pegasus, and Xu Deshuai, of Citizen - will also join the Caroliners next season. Citizen centre half Festus Baise, who only played eight matches last season owing to injuries, was a surprise winner among the 11.