Hong Kong under-23s aim to impress against Newcastle United and Guangzhou Evergrande at Soccer Sevens

Chelsea, Manchester City and Aston Villa youngsters will also be in action at Hong Kong Football Club in May

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 April, 2014, 9:59pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 April, 2014, 10:06am

Hong Kong international Wong Wai is looking forward to an improved performance in his second year at the HKFC Citibank Soccer Sevens, which celebrates its 15th anniversary next month.

The Yokohama forward will be part of the Hong Kong Under-23 side at the annual tournament, which also features big Premier League names such as Chelsea, Manchester City, Newcastle United, Aston Villa and reigning Asian Champions League winners Guangzhou Evergrande.

"We barely made it to the next round last year when playing for the Under-21 side, hopefully it will be better this time," said Wong.

Our target is to finish top of the group so that we can make it to the cup competition in the next round
Wong Wai 

"The most important thing for seven-a-side is to fully utilise the ground space as there is no offside rule.

"And after making my debut last year, I think I can adapt to it better. Also, the individual techniques of each player are also important, but you can find fine qualities in most of the Hong Kong players."

The tournament will also be part of their build-up for the Incheon Asian Games, which begin in October.

At Wednesday's official draw, the under-23s were drawn against Newcastle, hosts Hong Kong Football Club and debutants Evergrande in group A.

"I understand Guangzhou will be sending a young side to the tournament, but still it won't be easy as the mainlanders are always quick with strong physiques," said Wong.

"Our target is to finish top of the group so that we can make it to the cup competition in the next round."

Four groups are in the main tournament, with a total of 16 teams. In group D, defending champions Leicester City will meet Aston Villa, the Hong Kong Under-21 side and Yau Yee League Select. Newly crowned Hong Kong champions Kitchee, who won the title in 2011, are in group C where they will face Chelsea, Sunderland and the HKFC Captain's Select.

The masters tournament, with players over 35, has 12 teams in three groups. The annual extravanganza will be held at Hong Kong Football Club on May 23-25. Matches are seven minutes each way and increases to 10 minutes in the knockout stages.


Main Tournament

Group A: Newcastle United (ENG), Guangzhou Evergrande (CHN), HKFA U-23 (HKG), Hong Kong Football Club (HKG)    

Group B: Chelsea (ENG), Sunderland (ENG), Kitchee (HKG), HKFC Captain’s Select (HKG)

Group C: Manchester City (ENG), Rangers (SCO), HKFA Qualifier (HKG), Singapore Cricket Club (SIN)

Group D: Leicester City (ENG), Aston Villa (ENG), HKFA U-21 (HKG), Yau Yee League Select (HKG)


Masters Tournament

Group A: Rangers Legends (SCO), Wallsend Boys Club (ENG), USRC (HKG), Kowloon Cricket Club (HKG)

Group B: Aegon Ajax All Stars (NED), Eastern Salon (HKG), HKFC Chairman’s Select (HKG), HKFC Veterans (HKG)

Group C: Citibank All Stars (INT), Nottingham Forest Mobsters (ENG), KFC Tokyo (JPN), SCC Tigers (SIN)