Aston Villa are heading out to Hong Kong to take part in the competition they’ve won multiple times
Aston Villa have confirmed their ten-man squad who have travelled to Hong Kong to take part in the famous Soccer Sevens tournament this coming weekend. The Lions have a proud record in the competition, which is resuming again this year after a Covid-related pause in recent years.
The competition, which normally occurs annually, hasn’t taken place since 2019 because of the pandemic, but it has been confirmed that it will return in 2023 – and Villa have sent a team over to compete, as they have done so often.
They have won the trophy in 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2016, and the player of the tournament awards in that time have been won by the likes of Gabby Agbonlahor, Barry Bannan and Khalid Abdo. Newcastle United, though, are the current holders – indeed they’ve won the last two versions of the competition.
Villa and Newcastle this year will be joined by Leicester City, Fulham, QPR, Brighton, as well as Rangers who’ll travel over from Scotland. The Hong Kong Football Association will also be represented by a team, while domestic champions Kitchee and fellow Hong Kong outfit WoFoo Tai Po will also participate.
“We are delighted to be returning to the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens,” Villa academy manager Mark Harrison told the South China Morning Post last month. “We are looking forward to defending our record at the tournament and our players and staff are excited to come and experience all that the tournament has to offer.
“We know from previous years what wonderful opportunities lie ahead both on and off the pitch. We would like to offer our best wishes to all of those involved and we look forward to seeing you all very soon.”
The Sevens tournament involves four groups of four teams and a round robin format – each game is made up of two halves of seven minutes apiece, before the quarter-finals, semis and the final itself take place – the finals games are ten minutes a half.
Villa have been drawn in a group with Rangers, Tai Po and Yau Yee League Select. Depending on where they finish in their group, Villa will then compete for the Cup or the Plate – all semi-finals and the finals take place on Sunday.
Aston Villa squad listed on their official website: Todd Alcock, Mikell Barnes, Frankie Ealing, I-Lani Edwards, Omari Kellyman, Jack McDowell, Tommi O’Reilly, Charlie Pavey, Edward Rowe, James Wright
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