Newcastle Jets

Newcastle Jets will be making their first-ever appearance at the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens this year, with the club from Australia on a high after an impressive showing on the domestic scene throughout the 2017-18 season.

After struggling in recent years, Newcastle qualified for the A-League Finals behind Premiers Sydney FC, a remarkable turnaround for the club after finishing bottom of the standings the previous season. Much of the credit for that goes to head coach Ernie Merrick, who has close links with Hong Kong as the Scotland-born tactician was previously at the helm of the city’s representative team.

Youth team coach Lawrie McKinna, meanwhile, has a strong track record of working with some of the best young talent in Australia. Newcastle have been home to Socceroos such as Mark Bridge and Jade North as well as Ante Milicic, currently an assistant coach to Dutchman Bert van Marwijk, who will take the country to the finals of the World Cup in Russia in June.

Newcastle’s glory days in the A-League date back to the 2007-08 season when, after a second placed finish in the regular season, the club won the A-League Grand Final, defeating Central Coast Mariners.

Brighton& Hove Albion

Brighton & Hove Albion will reflect on the 2022/23 season as the finest in the club’s history. The Seagulls headed into the final five games of the Premier League season with the prospect of qualifying for Europe for the first time.

When Graham Potter left after six games of the season to become Chelsea’s head coach the club appointed former Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk coach Roberto De Zerbi, and after a period of adjustment the team’s fortunes have been on an upward curve.

Wins over the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea, as well as a club Premier League record 6-0 victory against Wolves in early May propelled Albion into a European place.

De Zerbi hasn’t just relied on the tried and tested in his squad, with striker Evan Ferguson getting first-team action after progressing through the academy, while teenagers Julio Enciso and Facundo Buonanotte have also been given regular opportunities. 

Academy graduate Odel Offiah was handed his Premier League against Nottingham Forest in April, playing in a team that already included fans’ favourites Lewis Dunk and Solly March, who also came through the club’s youth pathway. 

Despite the disappointment of losing the FA Cup semi-final to Manchester United on penalties, it is still hard to believe that 26 years ago it needed a draw in the final game of the season to stop the club dropping out of the Football League. 

Playing in exile at Gillingham and then in a converted athletics stadium at Withdean were trying times but since Tony Bloom was appointed chairman in 2009 the club has enjoyed a meteoric rise.

Promotion to the Championship in 2011 came in the same year as the club moved into the American Express Community Stadium. 

They played in the second tier until 2017 before winning promotion to the Premier League for the first time since 1983. After consolidating their place in the for three seasons Albion obtained their best points with 51 in the 2021-22 campaign, a total they have already beaten this season with five games to go. 

Hong Kong, China U22 Representative Team

Hong Kong, China U22 Representative Team is made up with promising young talent in Hong Kong football. Talented, motivated and hungry to showcase their skills in front of local and overseas football fans, Hong Kong, China U22 Representative Team is ready to go all out in this year’s HKFC Citibank Soccer 7s tournament, hoping to test themselves against the world’s finest emerging football talents, as well as to delight the crowd on hand.

Cagliari Calcio

Former Italian champions Cagliari Calcio became the first team from Italy to participate at the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens when the Serie A club took to the pitch at Hong Kong Football Club last year.

Cagliari, who are based on the island of Sardinia, reached the final of the Shield in their debut in the competition, only to lose 2-0 to West Ham United.

The club made their return to Serie A last season and finished in 11th place in Italy’s top flight. The club’s finest hour came in 1970 when, having finished as runners-up a year earlier, Cagliari won Serie A for the first and only time. That team was captained by Italy’s all-time leading scorer Gigi Riva, who, after making more than 300 appearances and scoring over 160 goals for Cagliari, boasts such an iconic status on Sardinia that his number 11 jersey has been retired.

Other notable players to have appeared for Cagliari include former Chelsea playmaker Gianfranco Zola and ex-Uruguay internationals Enzo Francescoli and Daniel Fonseca. Midfielder Nicolo Barella is a product of the Cagliari academy and has represented Italy at various levels while Han Kwang Song made his first appearance for the club in the league last year to become the first player from North Korea to play in Serie A.

Yau Yee League Masters

Yau Yee League Masters return for a second straight year after a run that took them to the Cup semi-finals last time around. A second-place finish in their group behind Wallsend Boys Club, following wins over playonPROS and HKFC Chairman’s select and a draw with KCC Veterans, took the Yau Yee League Masters into the semi-finals, where they were eliminated by eventual champions Citi All Stars.

The run to the last four followed on from their success in the final of the Plate competition 12 months earlier, when they defeated KCC Veterans after another strong campaign, which saw them hand Citi All Stars their only defeat of the competition when the teams met in the group phase.

A third place finish in the group set up the meeting with KCC Veterans in the Plate final and, after a goalless encounter, Yau Yee League Masters won the competition in a penalty shootout. The Yau Yee League is Hong Kong’s top amateur league and their representative team in the Masters tournament features many of the best senior players from the competition.

Before last year, previous best performances had come in 2009 and 2010, when Yau Yee League Masters reached back-to-back plate finals.


Rangers are Scotland’s most successful football club with the origins dating back to 1872 when the club was formed on the banks of the River Clyde at Glasgow Green. Being the most successful club in Scotland, the team is under pressure to win every game, whether that be home or away, to ensure the club remains the dominant force in Scottish Football. 

Rangers have won more league titles and trebles than any other club in the world, winning the league title 55 times, the Scottish Cup 34 times and the Scottish League Cup 27 times. In European football, Rangers were the first British Club to reach a UEFA tournament final in the inaugural European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1961. Rangers were runners-up again in the same competition in 1967 before going on to win the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1972 defeating Dynamo Moscow. More recently, Rangers have been runners-up in the UEFA Cup in 2008, and last season witnessed an incredible cup run in the UEFA Europa League where Rangers were runners-up in the final to Eintracht Frankfurt. 

 Based at the Rangers Training Centre in Milngavie, Glasgow, the club prides itself on consistently producing players that have gone on to represent the Men’s 1st Team. Recent examples of this have been Nathan Patterson, Danny Wilson and Alan Hutton, to name a few. Whereas this season has seen 1st Team debuts for Adam Devine, Alex Lowry, Bailey Rice and Zak Lovelace.

Wallsend Boys Club

Returning to the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens is Wallsend Boys Club, a club that boasts a proud history as one of the most renowned footballing institutions in England. The likes of Alan Shearer, Michael Carrick and Steve Bruce spent their early playing days at the North Tyneside club, while former Premier League stars Michael Bridges, Alan Thompson and Robbie Elliot have all represented their former team at the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens. 

One of the side’s most famed graduates, Peter Beardsley, who represented England at the 1990 World Cup and boasts legendary status at both Liverpool and Newcastle United, also turned out for Wallsend in 2014 and 2015. A quarter final appearance on their debut was followed by a runner-up finish a year later. In 2016, the team advanced to the semi-finals but were eliminated by USRC. They made further progress in 2017, this time winning their group before seeing off HKFC Masters in the semi-finals to set up a meeting with Citi All Stars in the final. But Wallsend’s wait for that title continued after an agonizing 3-2 defeat. 

The hunt for that elusive trophy ended in 2019, with the Club managing to win the tournament for the first time. The 2023 tournament will see Wallsend doing their best to retain their title! 

Singapore Cricket Club Masters

Established 1852, the Singapore Cricket Club is one of the premier sports clubs in Singapore. SCC is represented by two teams in the HKFC Soccer Sevens 2023, SCC Singapore Football League (SFL) team for the main tournament and SCC Masters team in the masters tournament. SCC has been in this tournament for over 5 years.

The SCC Masters team, which competes in several domestic football leagues, comprised ex-professional footballers and players who were formerly from the SCC SFL team.

Kowloon Cricket Club Veterans

Tournament regulars KCC Veterans return to the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens once more, since the last edition of the competition in 2019. They have a long-established history in the event and this year have signed-up the Leicester City Premier League Winning Defender, Danny Simpson, who joins KCC for the 2023 edition. Danny follows a long list of former players including Chelsea, West Ham and England International Carton Cole, Liverpool and England International legend John Barnes, ex-Scotland International and Everton forward Pat Nevin and former Northern Ireland International and Wimbledon striker Lawrie Sanchez, all who have represented the Club. The KCC Veterans reached the final of the Plate competition in both 2015 and 2016, losing to HKFC Chairman’s Select and Discovery Bay in respective years. KCC have also previously won the second-tier competition in 2009, by defeating Yau Yee League Masters 2-0 in the final. Their best-ever performances were in 2008 and 2011 when they advanced beyond the group stage to make the Cup quarter-finals. This year the team will be coached by the Hong Kong National Team Asst. Coach, Wolfgang Lussier and KCC are excited to be involved again in Hong Kong’s best Football 7’s Tournament.

HKFC Masters

The HKFC Masters team is honoured to be one of the two teams representing the Hong Kong Football Club in the upcoming annual seven-a-side event. Following a four-year break, the team has been working tirelessly to prepare for the tournament and is excited to represent the club once again. Although the results didn’t go their way in 2019, the players are optimistic that this year’s competition will be both enjoyable and successful.

HKFC Chairman’s Select

The HKFC Chairman’s Select team regularly participates in the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens tournament. After a disappointing performance in the 2019 event, the team is determined to bounce back and make a strong showing this year. With their sights set on being competitive, the Chairman’s Select team has been working hard to improve their game and is eager to take the field. Along with the other HKFC team, the Chairman’s Select team hopes to represent the club and play some high-quality football proudly.

Ampcontrol Discovery Bay

The lads from Discovery Bay (DB) return to the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens for the tenth time and this year as Ampcontrol Discovery Bay, having secured a new main sponsor that specializes in high voltage electrical engineering services and following their notable performances in 2017 and 2019 (reaching the plate final) and especially in 2018 (cup winners) the team will be fully charged for an electrifying display in this year’s tournament.

Ampcontrol Discovery Bay consist of local amateur and professional players from Discovery Bay Football Club (DBFC) and the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) league teams, having separated from the previous years of partnership with the boys from Brazil, who this year field their own team in the tournament. Discovery Bay teams from the past have included some star attractions such as former England Internationals Peter Beardsley, Teddy Sheringham and Darren Anderton. 

Ampcontrol Discovery Bay will be coached again by former Hong Kong star forward and Discovery Bay resident Tim Bredbury and big support will come from the teams main and secondary sponsors’ representatives, who are all Discovery Bay residents.

PFA Citi All Stars

The PFA are delighted to be providing the Citibank Allstars for the Hong Kong Soccer 7s once again.

This partnership has been going for 21 years with many former Professional players from all divisions in the English leagues taking part.

Wellington Phoenix

Wellington Phoenix are making their fourth successive appearance at the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens after becoming New Zealand’s first-ever representatives in 2015.

Wellington, the only club from New Zealand to compete in Australia’s A-League, reached the semi-finals on their debut at Hong Kong Football Club before losing 1-0 to eventual winners Atletico Madrid. And the New Zealanders again made the last four three years ago when, after topping a group comprising Eastern, Stoke City and Yau Yee League Select, they defeated Leicester City 2-1 in the last eight. Once more, Wellington would lose to the eventual champions in the last four, this time when Aston Villa ran out 2-0 victors.

The 2017 edition saw Wellington reach the final of the Plate competition, where they lost 2-1 to Bayer Leverkusen. Domestically, Wellington have participated in the Australian league since being founded in 2007 and have reached the end-of-season Grand Final series on four occasions, achieving a best ever third-place finish in 2010.

Striker Hamish Watson was among the stars of Wellington’s 2016 HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens tournament and the New Zealander has gone on to become a regular feature in the first-team squad. The club also boast a strong Hong Kong connection having previously been led by former Hong Kong coach Ernie Merrick.

Singapore Cricket Club

Established 1852, the Singapore Cricket Club is one of the premier sports clubs in Singapore. SCC is represented by two teams in the HKFC Soccer Sevens 2023, SCC Singapore Football League (SFL) team for the main tournament and SCC Masters team in the masters tournament. SCC has been in this tournament for over 5 years. 

 The SCC SFL team competes in the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Singapore Football League One (SFL 1). In 2022, the Club picked up several accolades at the 2022 FAS Sports Awards Night, including the FAS Recognition Award, Top Goal Scorer Award and Fair Play Award. The former Head Coach and current Club Captain were also one of three nominees for the FAS SFL Coach of the Year and Player of the Year awards respectively. In 2023, SCC SFL team kicked off its pre-season campaign by finishing runners-up at the annual Royal Bangkok Sports Club (RBSC) Soccer Sevens and is currently in the midst of its 2023 SFL season. The SCC SFL team, led by Head Coach and former Singapore international Steven Tan, is expected to challenge for honours domestically. The team comprised some of the brightest young talents as well as former professionals.