Duo decide to talk for team's sake
Every team has its conflicts and the boys' volleyball team of Yan Chai Hospital No 2 Secondary School is no different. Last year the team wasn't doing too well, but its members insist they've put their differences behind them.
The two core players of the team - Form Six student Micky Tai Wai-ki and Form Five student Francesc Tam Cho-yau - have both been on the Hong Kong youth squad. Yet the two young aces are like fire and water.
Micky is more sociable and unafraid to speak his mind. Francesc is less outspoken on and off court.
Both players cared about the team, but had different views on what style of play to adopt and other matters. Yet rather than sort out their differences up front, the duo kept them bottled up inside them. That affected the team's performance at the Jing Ying Tournament, a competition for Hong Kong schools.
Yan Chai was one of the title favourites but made an early exit.
Micky and Francesc realised they needed to set their differences aside if they were to do better.
'We seldom talked last year,' Micky says. 'This year I am the captain of the team. Both of us agreed to chat and find the right path for the team together. Even if we face problems or have totally different ideas about training, we will find time to discuss things. After all, both of us care about the team.'
'Initially I decided not to play for the volleyball team this year,' he notes. 'Last year I did quite well in handball and I would like to try other sports, too. But I didn't want to give up volleyball so I will focus on both handball and volleyball this year. And I will also play football and compete in athletics for fun.'
Despite his busy schedule, Francesc wants to help Micky train the younger players on the team.
Yan Chai has the strongest line-up among all teams in the Tuen Mun Inter-school Volleyball Competition. Both Micky and Francesc are confident they will be able to defend the district title.
But proving that the team is the best in Hong Kong will not be that easy.
'We will need to face strong teams from other districts at the Jing Ying Tournament,' Micky said.
'If we can regain our momentum and high morale, we should be able to get into the top four.'
To do that, the two veteran players will need to prove that fire and water can work well together for the good of the team.