Newly promoted Resources Capital are refusing to compromise on their mission to provide Hong Kong’s young players the opportunity to compete in the Premier League – even if it means a quick return to the First Division after just one season in the elite competition. The club will play their first top-tier league match against heavyweights Eastern on Saturday as the pandemic-delayed 2020-21 league finally gets under way at Mong Kok Stadium. While fans would be happy to see a “David versus Goliath” ending to the story, in reality it is likely to be another uphill task for the young and inexperienced Resources Capital after suffering a devastating 6-1 defeat by Happy Valley in the Sapling Cup on Sunday. “Many of the players have been with us from the First Division and there is going to be a transition period before these young guns can grow and stay competitive in the Premier League,” said club head coach Ho Shun-yin. “But our club mission won’t change because we want to provide local young boys the opportunities so that they can be groomed to become not only our future but also the future of Hong Kong football. Eastern Long Lions beat R&F to win FA Cup and claim place in AFC Cup “No one can predict when this can happen but if you do not try, it will never happen. We have to thank the clubs owners because they are not asking for only short-term results but to fulfil our long-term mission.” To pursue their dream, the club has set up a non-governmental organisation under the name Future Hong Kong Football Development Charity in an attempt to secure more resources for the development of young players. And the NGO’s name is now printed on the team jersey as part of its promotion. Ho said it would be too early to predict if they could survive in the Premier League but from the club management down to the players, they know clearly what the club mission is. “Of course there is the potential risk of relegation but if it happens, it happens,” he said. “However, please do not discard us from the very beginning. You never know the potential of our young players and whether they can adjust to the pace of the top flight. They may be able to pull off a few surprises during the season.” One young player to watch is forward Wong Wai-kwok. The diminutive striker scored his first goal in the top flight when they forced a 1-1 draw against Southern in the Sapling Cup. The 21-year-old has played all their five matches so far in the Sapling Cup. Kitchee crowned Hong Kong Premier League champions “Most of the teams are using foreign players up front which means there will be fewer and fewer opportunities for local players in those positions,” said Ho. “Wong is a very solid player with good ball control skills but no experience in top-tier football. He would certainly not be able to find a team in the premiership had he not been with us.” Resources Capital will play a different style to other Premier League teams, relying heavily on the Tiki-Taka system made famous in Spain – thanks to their coach Joan Esteva, a native of Barcelona who once played for the second team of Espanyol. “For me this is the best football in the world,” said Esteva, who joined them from UE Figueres last year. “It will take time before the players can fit into this kind of precise passing style that allows the team to maintain possession but I do believe it will work for Hong Kong players. “Most of my boys have played only in the First Division and lack experience in the premiership. They are still learning but hopefully they can establish themselves in the top flight as soon as possible.” Expecting a result against Eastern on Saturday may be too much for Resources Capital but fans will be interested to see if they are on the right direction in terms of helping to safeguard the future of Hong Kong football.