Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Oh, What a Night! 這一夜.永難忘!

Oh, What a Night!
I am delighted to be able to write a blog that celebrates the recent success of our senior men’s team. The away draw in Uzbekistan was a great result in itself, but I think, beating Vietnam at home is even more impressive. I know Uzbekistan is ranked considerably higher than Vietnam but there is always added pressure associated with playing at home (especially in front of a capacity crowd). The success in Uzbekistan only increased the expectation. The players reacted amazingly well, particularly in the second half. They were composed and disciplined throughout and it was, without doubt, the best I have seen them perform. No-one can begrudge them their extra bonus!
I must also pay tribute to the capacity crowd who undoubtedly helped to motivate the players with their incessant and passionate chanting. It was a cauldron of noise and I am sure the Vietnam team was intimidated. When the goal went in, the roar was probably heard in Hanoi! I must have broken the over 50’s high jump record myself!
There is a lot said and written about the ‘M’ word, (momentum) in sport. It is certainly true that good results create confidence and this in turn helps with performance. It is a virtuous circle. The converse is also true, if results are poor, confidence dips and the performance on the pitch suffers. We are on a positive trajectory at the moment and it is something we must build on. In many ways it is a shame that we have to wait until October for our next competitive match. However we will be supporting the team as much as possible and equipping them with the expertise and resources they need to continue their good run. This includes arranging some friendly matches on the FIFA International match days hopefully in June, August, September and October.
A lot of people helped to make last Friday night so memorable, the players, coaches, sponsors, fans, media, our own Competitions and Marketing Departments, Nike etc. Thank you to all of you. It reinforced my belief that football in Hong Kong has real potential. Together, we can make it happen.  


  1. Dear Mark,

    Glad to see Hong Kong got 4 points in 2 matches in ACQ!! We appreciated that promotion was very good and improved a lot this time! We can see the advertisement in bus roadshow, poster and banner around the stadium and the souvenir are good too! What an amazing game!

    Mongkok Stadium can enhance the performance of Hong Kong players. Fans can support the team with closest distance to the field. I am sure that the players could hear our slogans, songs and celebration clearly. So, please continue to arrange MKS for the match vs UAE as our home stadium. Only when there are more than 25,000 audience can provide this effect in Hong Kong Stadium. It will be better to arrange in HKS when facing Uzbekistan, as much citizen will notice that 11.19 is the most important match for road to Australia.

    It will be a hard game and extremely difficuly to get a point from UAE (they won all matches in ACQ) if Fetsus, Fofo, Christian and the three players in Chinese League One are absent from HK team. We need them to fight for glory. Please kindly liaise with Immigration Department and the Chinese clubs! (and I heard that Detinho wants to apply for HKSAR passport too!!)


    1. Dennis,
      Thanks for your comment and apology for the delayed response. I found out the other day that Hong Kong hasn't qualified for the Asian Cup since 1968. We are well-placed in the group at the moment and if we could qualify it would be fantastic.
      There is no doubt that we have a difficut decision to makeabout the stadium. At the moment we have Mong Kok booked for the UAE match. As you say, the atmosphere is amazing when it is full. It is a bit small though and we don't want to dissapoint fans that can't get in. On the other hand, the Hong Kong Stadium at 40,000 is a bit big. It's a shame that there isn't a 'boutique' 15,000-20,000 seat stadium because that would be perfect until we are so popular we can fill the HKS on a regular basis!
      Rest assured we are doing what we can to encourage players to meet the eligibility criteria.

  2. I don't mind Mongkok Stadium or Hong Kong Stadium. But with the current success of the team and the likelihood of more quality players joining or returning (such as Chan Siu Ki, Godfred Karikari, Jack Sealy, Wisdom Fofo, Christian Annan..etc) to the team in October or November, it is very likely Mongkok Stadium cannot accommodate all the fans.

    Anyone who says Hong Kong cannot win in Hong Kong Stadium is either superstitious or has his/her own personal agenda to fill. (Probably lives just a few blocks away and doesn't want to cross the harbour.)

    1. Allan,
      Again apologies for the delay in responding but as ever, thanks for your comment.
      In my reply to Dennis I mention the problem we face in choosing the right venue. We will arrange some more friendlies for Mong Kok and see what the response is like.
      If we get a good result against UAE we may consider a move to the HKS for the Uzbekistan match.
      I will keep people posted via this Blog.
      We will base the decision first and foremost on what is best for the team and the fans, commercial considerations will be second and superstition will be a very long way down the list of criteria as far as I am concerned.