Despite being an amateur team, the Hong Kong Football Club (HKFC) has been playing in the top league for a long time. Recently, they have been able to compete in the Premier League by recruiting many players from outside of Hong Kong.
However, last season, the HKFC proved that they were not a weak team. They performed well in the first half of the season and even held the top spot in the league at one point. They also won against the Eastern and Southern Districts. To finish off the season, they achieved 26 points in the Premier League, which is a new club record.
Siu Ka Ming Alvin was the team’s third most played player last season. In addition to the suspension of the home game against Sham Shui Po, the other 16 games were selected for the main game and played as a backup, scoring one goal and one assist. Among them, when HKFC played against RCFC at home, goalkeeper Freddie Toomer scored the all-season golden goal upside down in the chaos in stoppage time, and Siu took a corner kick.
Also born in 1998, many players such as Yu Wai Lim, Ngan Cheuk Pan, Yue Tze Nam, etc. have been hailed as the “golden generation”. However, Siu has not been selected for Hong Kong youth teams at all levels, and he will not have the opportunity to play professionally until he is 24 years old. game.
“I have thought about it myself, these players have been able to start their careers long ago, why can they and I can’t?”
Siu started his football career in the Sham Shui Po district team. He admitted that his strength was not very good back then. Later, he followed Chelsea Football School and played for Yokoham FC (HK), SCAA and Happy Vally youth teams. It is not a group that the team focuses on training. Chelsea focused more on the players from 1999. They stayed until Happy Vally started to play the 3rd division league, and then went to the North District with coach Poon Yiu Cheuk.”
“I have watched Poon’s games before. He is short and slender, but he is very proficient in his left and right feet, and he has a good mind. So I played with him and learned a lot from him.”
Knowing that his skills are not top in Hong Kong, Siu has been rolling in low-level competitions and has never been selected for the Hong Kong youth team. During the four years of studying at CityU, he has been trying to find opportunities. At first, he had no intention of officially joining, but later the team gave him a professional contract, which surprised him very much.
Happy time is short. At that time, Pegasus had a lot of class fees. After signing the contract, Siu gradually felt the pressure: “There are many famous players in the team, but the young players don’t seem to get any help, and their performance is difficult to improve… I thought I could continue. But after the team went to Thailand for training camp, Peter Man suddenly came to me and told me that he would terminate the contract immediately.”
“From small to large, I am very eager to use football as a career. I have always aimed at this goal. After Pegasus, I tried to follow RCFC. Unfortunately, I was injured during wave practice. That was the closest…” Again with Siu, who passed by in the Premier League, had to go to the second-tier league team Sha Tin, and played while studying in college.
In 2022, Sha Tin successfully entered the semi-finals of the 1st dev. League Cup. After losing to the current champion Tai Po, he lost to the North District in the third place. At this time, Siu, who just graduated from university and was wondering about his future, received another invitation from RCFC after the game. .
“The coach called me and asked me if I still wanted to play professionally, and said that I would sign it 90% of the time. But after a week or a month, I still haven’t signed it. Then I will ask the club if I want to sign? Is it because of my lack of ability? Or because of my lack of ability? The team’s funds are insufficient? But I have not given me a very definite answer, so I decided not to follow the fuck.”
Every time I tried my feet and practiced, it was like a long process of “seeing the job”: “From the small to the big, I was eager to use football as a career, and I always aimed at it, so I was really unworthy at the time, and I felt that I had reached the state of practice. It was so good, there was no reason not to try again, so I asked my friend Alex Dujardin to see if I could introduce myself to HKFC, and finally signed a contract.”
At first Siu thought that the level was relatively low, but after starting to practice with this group of amateur players, he gradually changed his mind: “In fact, many of them have received systematic youth training in Hong Kong or their own country for a long time, but they cannot become professional players for various reasons. , so their basic skills and thinking are very good.”
In the past, HKFC, which operated as an amateur, only practiced two to three lessons a week. Last season, it began to increase the number of drills. At its peak, it reached five lessons a week, which is already on par with other Premier League teams. Most of the players have full-time jobs, so the practice time is concentrated at night, contrary to other teams. It was early morning when I got home after practice, but the practice was very well organized, and the more I played, the more enthusiastic I felt from everyone. Everyone really likes football, so they are willing to spend their time like this.”
From a lifter to a mid-level player, there have always been passing teams who have the idea of maintaining or even increasing class fees; although the Football Association may tighten the restrictions on foreign aid in the future to be on par with other clubs, there are many players in the team such as Freek Schipper, Paulinho, Jack Sealy, Robbie Scott, etc. already have the status of local players, and the Hong Kong Club itself has complete facilities and systems, and the gap with professional standards has narrowed. Siu’s goal for the coming season is to hope that the team and himself can maintain a stable level, and even have the ability to qualify for the Sapling Cup knockout round.
HKFC’s performance last season was impressive. Siu, who is not well-known in the Premier League, has become the team’s main force. Has he thought about becoming a real full-time player?
“I wanted to find a job as soon as I graduated, but I stopped after Jinfeng approached me. After joining HKFC, the wages were not high, so I have to find a job again. At this stage, I want to maintain my status as a semi-professional player. Of course, I have always wanted to pursue it. A higher level of football will be considered by other clubs in the future if conditions permit.”
“In fact, there are 10/11 teams in the entire Premier League. How many players are real full-time players? Probably only Kitchee and Lee Man players. Many players have to coach after daily practice, otherwise they will not even be able to make a living, so in essence they are all half-time players. The Hong Kong Club only arranges practice at night, but actually trains with other teams The amount is the same. But only HKFC can allow me to return to full-time during the day, so the Hong Kong Club is still the most suitable team for me at this stage.”
From Sham Shui Po to HKFC, it took Siu 10 years to embark on a professional football journey, and in the same year, Ru Zinan was already the main force of the Chinese Super League team. But even if the football market is poor and the stands are often empty, for those who aspire to become professional players, it is still worth pursuing their dream of becoming a Premier League player for most of their lives.
|Name||Siu Ka Ming Alvin|
(cover photo credit @lcikw )