New season to feature young guns
It is hard to say whether South China or Kitchee will dominate the First Division this season. What is certain, however, is that next month we will see more young faces in the top flight of Hong Kong soccer.
Sham Shui Po are a focused team with many young players. Yet a drive to nurture young talent has also caught on at other teams, including the league's two powerhouses, Kitchee and South China.
After last season ended in May, Kitchee general manager Ken Ng told Young Post that in its attempt to defend their title, the team would give its young players a greater role on the pitch. 'We aim to equip our juniors for a professional level by giving them more chances to play,' he said.
True to their word, the club have already promoted youth team player David Ngan Lok-fung to the First Division team. In the match against Chelsea in the Barclays Asia Trophy last month, Kitchee also fielded James Ha, who was Hong Kong's Best Youth Player last season, against one of the best teams in the world. His brother David also played.
Kitchee's arch-rival, South China, will try to recapture the league title in the coming season. Like Kitchee, the club has promoted several junior players, including midfielders Kot Cho-wai and Chan Pak-hang as well as forward Li Yim-lam, to the first team. The young players are now training with the team at a camp in Busan, South Korea.
Another First Division club, Tin Shui Wai Pegasus, have recruited former Kitchee student player Lali Li Ka-chun. The skilful young star will also be a player to watch in the coming season.
Young Post will be following the youth players' progress as the season unfolds.