It will be a few years before the Australian International School (AIS) becomes a force in inter-school sports, but it's headed in the right direction. Because the multi-million dollar Kowloon Tong school is still relatively young and uses an Australian curriculum timetable, it is unable to take part in much of the Hong Kong School Sports Federation's programme. AIS is only in its eighth year, and just its second at the new campus on Waterloo Road. It takes part in under-16 basketball, but even then, the school must forfeit matches because it takes its 'summer' holiday from mid-December to the start of February. The school only has about 20 students in year 12 - not enough to make up a boys' or girls' grade A (under-18) soccer team. But in year eight there are over 75 pupils, so by 2005, the school is hoping it will be challenging nearby King George V School for the big trophies in sports grades A, B and C. 'We hope to have over 500 secondary age students in two years,' said soccer coach and maths teacher Philip O'Connor. 'That should be a big enough pool to set up some decent sports teams.' To make up for the lack of fixtures, the school hosts invitation tournaments, including an eight-a-side football league, where other Kowloon Tong schools compete with AIS's best every Wednesday afternoon. In the round-robin league that runs one-term, two AIS under-16 teams are up against two from sporting champions KGV and one from Christian Alliance International School and Yew Chung International School. Last Wednesday, the defending champions of the year-old competition - AIS 'A' - drew 0-0 with Yew Chung on the school's artificial grass surface. O'Connor said a few of his players are good enough to play at a higher level. He said the school had nominated brothers Aaron and Asher Stradli-Robbie, Jimmy Cheng and Joe Walker to play in the Hong Kong rep team trials next month. Cheng scored three goals in a 4-2 win against Yew Chung in the first game of the competition.