Hong Kong; May 13, 2014: The build-up to the HKFC Citibank Soccer Sevens kicks off on Saturday with the HKFC Citibank Junior Soccer Sevens at Hong Kong Football Club.
Now in its fourth year, this will be the largest HKFC Citibank Junior Soccer Sevens ever staged with a total of 80 teams from 19 different clubs from across Hong Kong competing across four age groups – U-9, U-10, U-11 and U-12 – from 8.00am to 6.30pm on Saturday and Sunday, May 17-18.
The Cup and Plate finals for all age groups will then be played the following weekend during the main HKFC Citibank Soccer Sevens (May 23-25).
Chris Plowman, Tournament Director of the Junior Soccer Sevens, said: “The HKFC Citibank Junior Soccer Sevens is a unique event in that it brings together clubs from all over Hong Kong and from different leagues, so many of these teams rarely play each other. We have staged the Junior Soccer Sevens for the past three years and it has proved to be a huge success. It’s certainly one of the big events in Hong Kong’s junior soccer calendar.”
This year, Hong Kong champions Kitchee will field their young stars against sides from a variety of soccer schools, including Hong Kong Football Academy, Asia Pacific Soccer Schools, HK Dragons from Discovery Bay, Chelsea Soccer Schools, ESF Lions, Sai Kung Sharks and Brasil Top Skills.
International schools are also represented in the form of sides from the soccer programmes at Canadian International School and Tai Tam Tigers from Hong Kong International School and, for the first time, Harrow International School.
Hosts HKFC will welcome their friends and rivals from Kowloon Cricket Club (KCC), while a strong Japanese contingent will come from ACC Japan, Junior J Leaguers and Dragon Shooters.
Shenzhen United will be sending teams from across the border, while Southern District will complete the line-up. HKFC and KCC will also be fielding some all-girls teams to take on the boys.
“It’s great to see the Junior Sevens grow with some new names in the line-up,” Plowman said. “With all teams now confirmed and the draw made, there is much excitement among the competing sides as to who might make the big finals.”
Teams will play in four pools of five teams, with the top four sides going through to Cup, Plate, Bowl and Shield semi-finals. The Bowl and Shield finals will be played on May 17 and 18, and the Cup and Plate finals will take place during the HKFC Citibank Soccer Sevens on May 24 and 25.
There will also be a curtain raiser to the Soccer Sevens in the form of an U-8 tournament on the afternoon of Friday, May 23. On the Saturday of the Soccer Sevens, HKFC Crusaders special needs players will feature in an exhibition match, plus there will be an exhibition match between HKFC U-14 Girls and KCC U-14 Girls.
“It’s such a great opportunity for our young players to have the chance of playing in front of a packed stadium at the Sevens and competing alongside teams from the English Premier League and around the world,” Plowman said. “I really hope that it’s a showcase of all that is good about junior soccer in Hong Kong. There’s sure to be some great football and very exciting matches.”
The main men’s tournament will start with the opening round of Masters group games on Friday evening (7.00-9.00pm), May 23. All the Main group matches and the remaining Masters group games are held on the Saturday (9.00am-8.15pm) before the knockout rounds take place on Sunday (8.00am-7.30pm).
Entry is free on the Friday evening, while tickets for the weekend are HK$160 per day or HK$300 for a two-day pass, and are available at . Citibank has title sponsored the event since 2011 and other sponsors this year include British Airways, Nike, Aegon, The Excelsior, Tsingtao and Boase Cohen & Collins.