A SCHOLARSHIP scheme to groom promising young soccer players for the big league will continue its good work. This was pledged at a recent press conference to mark the seventh anniversary of the Coca-Cola/HKSI Soccer Scholarship Scheme. Former scholarship holders Tam Siu-wai, Loh Kai-wah and Au Wai-lun, stars of the local First Division league, were present. They shared their experiences and offered advice to the new generation of young football players. 'The road is long but there is always a bright future,' said Tam, who is now a full Hong Kong international, and one of the highest paid players in the local First Division league. 'You may come across many difficulties on your road to success, but never give up, and keep trying your best. Always consult your coaches for advice,' he said. The three players were also invited to host a cake-cutting ceremony together with Hugh Inman, director and general manager of Swire Bottlers; Tang Kar-hung, chairman of the Youth Development Committee of the Hong Kong Football Association; Dr Dennis Whitby, director of the Hong Kong Sports Institute (HKSI), and Kwok Ka-ming, head soccer coach of the HKSI. Tang also pledged support to the scheme, saying it has helped not only the development of youth soccer but Hong Kong football as a whole. The scheme, which is sponsored by Swire Bottlers, provides formal training, accommodation, sports science and sports medicine support to a group of promising players ranging from 12 to 18 years. Three outstanding members of the scheme received trophies at the ceremony. Tam Wai-kwok was named the Most Valuable Player, while Fung Ka-kei and Wan King-leung received Best Services Awards. Dr Whitby said the institute is keen to support soccer development in Hong Kong as the sport is popular game among youngsters and is the biggest spectator sport in the territory. 'Soccer always has been a popular sport among youngsters in Hong Kong,' Dr Whitby said, 'and it is important to give them the right channels to receive proper training.' Head coach Kwok said he was delighted with the achievements of scheme members in the past year. The HKSI 'A' squad (under-18) were champions of the Challenge Cup and the Coca-Cola Youth Knock-out Cup, and the first runners-up in the Energiser Youth League. They also clinched three titles of the Yau Yee League, including the First Division League, Knock-out Cup and the six-a-side tournament. The 'B' squad (under-15) were champions of the Coca-Cola Youth Knock-out Cup and finished fourth in the Energiser Youth League.