Young footballers face more games
The Hong Kong Football Association has reorganised the youth league competition to give participating teams more match experience.
The new form of competition will be applied to the new season starting in September. The title of the competition will be changed from Henderson Elite Youth League to Henderson Youth League.
Besides the new name, match scheduling will also take into account players' national, club and school team commitments to avoid clashes with other competitions.
The 2011-12 season will feature more than 700 matches in four age categories - Under 13, Under 15, Under 17 and Under 19 - between September and next June. Most matches will be held on Friday nights. The 25 teams competing in the Under 19 games and 24 teams in each of the other age categories will be divided into four smaller groups for round-robin matches.
The top three teams from each smaller group will then enter the final stage for the championship trophy. For the first time, the winning team will also be awarded prize money.
Meanwhile, the names have been released of the 30 young Hong Kong footballers selected to prepare for the 2013 East Asian Games, which will be held in the mainland city of Tianjin. The players aim to defend the gold medal that they won in 2009 after beating Japan.
Star goalkeeper Yapp Hung-fai, who contributed so much to the 2009 victory, is the only player to remain; all the others are new to the Games. Some of them may have a chance to play together in Hong Kong's first division for a season after one team, Pontic, dropped out.
So far, the exact make-up of a new teenage club is still uncertain, but discussions are taking place.