Former Newcastle United favourite John Beresford will arrive in Hong Kong in a few days with a spring in his step as he looks forward to the HKFC IP Global International Soccer Sevens. He admits he will probably depart with a limp and a few aches and pains. 'The last time Rob Lee [his ex-Magpies teammate] and I played in the Sevens we went home and needed several weeks to recover because we put so much into it!' he laughs. 'The trouble is, we love to play, but the body doesn't always agree. We can't do what we used to do, we know that, but it's about going out and enjoying yourself and having some fun.' Beresford and Lee - key members of the swashbuckling Newcastle team who came close to winning the Premier League under Kevin Keegan in 1996 - will be turning out for the IP Global All-Stars in the Sevens, at Hong Kong Football Club from Friday to Sunday. Their teammates will include former England internationals Des Walker, Dave Beasant, Chris Powell and Mark Walters, ex-Scotland striker Gordon Durie and former Northern Ireland midfielder Steve Lomas. But anyone thinking these not-so-old pros are simply turning up for a couple of friendly games and to reminisce about the past should heed Beresford's warning. 'Always, the aim is to win. Don't get me wrong, we'll play with a smile on our face and go out and socialise, but we're not coming halfway around the world simply to have a kickabout and get beaten. Your pride is still there and you want to do well.' The IP Global All-Stars will be the top attraction in the Masters competition, while leading youth teams, including holders Aston Villa, West Ham, Celtic and Rangers, will contest the Main competition. Beresford, who has played in the tournament three times, is looking forward to it. 'The ex-pros turn into kids again when they get to the Sevens. Even though I'm 42, I'm starting to get excited. I've been talking to Rob Lee and Des Walker and we're all saying we can't wait to play. It gives you that buzz again.' Before coming to Hong Kong, Beresford will be keeping a close eye on today's final round of Premier League fixtures as Newcastle attempt to avoid relegation. He attends all the Magpies' home matches in his role as a TV analyst and has watched their season unravel with disbelief. 'From Kevin Keegan being manager at the start of the season to Alan Shearer trying to save them at the finish, you couldn't have scripted what's happened,' he says. 'Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong and now Shearer is trying to pick up the pieces. While acknowledging all that has happened, you have to say the players have simply not performed.' Newcastle's season has resembled a TV soap opera. They began with Keegan back for his second spell as manager, but he quit after club owner Mike Ashley brought in Dennis Wise as director of football and Tony Jimenez as vice-president of player recruitment. Veteran manager Joe Kinnear came in and made some initial progress - in a period that saw Wise and Jimenez leave the club - before a major health scare forced him to step down, leaving coach Chris Hughton in charge. With the Magpies plummeting, club record goalscorer and Geordie icon Shearer took charge for the run-in. Beresford believes Ashley must carry a large share of the blame. 'His decision to bring in Wise and Jimenez and to give them so much influence was the major reason why Keegan walked out and that is why they're in the position they're in now.' Mired in the bottom three, the Magpies play their final game away to Aston Villa today hoping that either of the two teams above them, Hull (at home to champions Manchester United) or Sunderland (at home to Chelsea), will stumble. Beresford is not optimistic. 'The odds are stacked against them, not because I think Hull and Sunderland will both get results, but because Newcastle have to get something at Villa and Martin O'Neill has a team to cause them problems. It's not looking good.' Newcastle's predicament is a far cry from Keegan's glorious first spell in charge in the 1990s when they were pipped by Manchester United. Beresford for the Premiership title was a buccaneering left-back in that team, enjoying six successful years at St James' Park and winning two England B caps. I've fantastic memories of that time,' he reflects. 'I couldn't wait for training and I couldn't wait for matches. My teammates were guys like Peter Beardsley, Les Ferdinand, Philippe Albert, Tino Asprilla, Rob Lee ... it was just an absolute pleasure to play alongside them.' And David Ginola? The maverick Frenchman, playing in front of Beresford on the left wing, polarised opinion with his dazzling skill and low work rate, but Beresford won't hear a bad word about him. 'Some days he was that good, I was just applauding. He was an unbelievable talent and a great guy, too. He was also a lazy so-and-so sometimes, but that was what made him! I loved playing with David Ginola.' After the Villa-Newcastle showdown, Sheffield-born Beresford will have one more important date before heading to Hong Kong - he will be at Wembley tomorrow to watch Sheffield United, his boyhood team, take on Burnley in the Championship play-off final, the prize being promotion to the Premier League. 'It's a weird scenario,' he says. 'All season I've been hoping my team get promoted so I could watch them play Newcastle in the Premier League next season. Now they could be replacing them.' Beresford always enjoys his trips to the Sevens and this one will be even sweeter if results go his way tonight and tomorrow. He confirms: 'If Newcastle stay up and Sheffield United win, I'll be arriving in Hong Kong with the biggest smile in the world.' For details about the Soccer Sevens, visit www.hksoccersevens.com .