Aston Villa starlet Jack Grealish targeting Soccer Sevens title
Teenager Jack Grealish, who made his Premier League debut against Manchester City this month, is confident Aston Villa can win a sixth HKFC Citibank Soccer Sevens title at Hong Kong Football Club this weekend.
Grealish, 18, was part of the Villa squads that reached the Cup final in 2012 and lost to eventual champions Leicester City last year. Regular visitors Villa have always impressed at the tournament but have not won since 2010.
"In my first year here I didn't really play much and in my second year, last year, I was our top scorer, so this year I'm hoping to win," Grealish said after arriving in Hong Kong with the rest of the British teams on Wednesday.
"I think [the coach] is desperate to win it and that's why he's brought us along; that's why he's brought a strong team," Grealish added. "We've definitely got a good chance. We've got all the talent in the world, so I think we can definitely win."
Grealish established himself as a crowd favourite while on loan at Notts County this season before making his first-team debut this month. "I loved it," Grealish said. "It was a massive experience, after coming back off loan; I've just got to keep that level up when I go back for preseason."
Aston Villa face defending champions Leicester City, HKFA U-21 and Yau Yee League Select in group D on Saturday.
Newcastle United, winners in 2012 and runners-up last year, are the favourites in group A and will face Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande, HKFA U-23 and Hong Kong Football Club.
English sides Chelsea and Sunderland are pooled with Hong Kong champions Kitchee and HKFC Captain’s Select in group B.
Premier League champions Manchester City are the top seeds in group C and will face Scottish giants Rangers, Hong Kong First Division side BC Rangers and Singapore Cricket Club.
The tournament starts with the opening round of Masters group games on Friday evening.