Diocesan Boys’ School football team captain Sun Ming-him is famous for his speed and dribbling skills. But Ming-him says the difficulty of shooting from different angles or distances is what makes him love the sport.
The 16-year-old forward told Young Post that shooting in the penalty area was the most challenging task. “Having passed several defenders, there have been many times when I have mishit a shot or shot straight at the goalkeeper. Then I would ask myself: ‘What’s wrong with me?’” he said.
Watching videos of Barcelona star Lionel Messi helped improve his skills, Ming-him said. Messi is well-known for his amazing “fake shot” goals – he would send the defender the wrong way before shooting into the net.
“I would also like to do Messi’s lift, step, and go, although it’s trickier. This requires me to lift one leg, and then move my body and the ball in the opposite direction immediately. I need to make it more ‘real’ because it’s an effective way to fool opponents,” Ming-him said.
Whenever he prepares to shoot, he needs to be decisive, the DBS student added. “You can master close-range shots by practising more than 100 times during training sessions, but anything could happen during a game. You could shoot the ball in the wrong direction, who knows? So it’s more important to believe in yourself. Don’t hesitate, and find the best position to shoot. There’s not much time to think.”
Apart from improving his own skills, coordinating well with his teammates was key to victory, Ming-him said. “It’s not surprising that my teammates have different styles because they play for different clubs, such as Happy Valley and Freeman. Players from Happy Valley usually play a high-pressing game [they attack more] whereas Freeman players are technically better. It’s not easy to find a tactic that works well with everyone.”
The DBS team has been brilliant in the boys’ A-Grade Inter-School Football Competition (Division One – Hong Kong Island and Kowloon). They won all preliminary round games. In the semi-finals earlier this month, they defeated Hong Kong International School (HKIS) 7-6 after a penalty shootout. It was sweet revenge for DBS, who lost 3-4 to HKIS in a penalty shootout in last year’s final.
DBS will take on West Island School (WIS) in the final on Monday at Shek Kip Mei Park.
Ming-him said it would be a very tough game because WIS were also a technically strong team. “WIS footballers are good at ball control and dribbling. With their high speed and superb skills, they can pose a major threat to our defence,” he said.
Ming-him said he would ask his defenders not to move forward too much against WIS. He also hoped his teammates would be prepared to ward off counter-attacks. “The most important thing is to set the pace in the final,” he added.
Which fictional character would you choose as your teammate?
I would want the Incredible Hulk from Marvel Comics. His strength would help him score many goals. With him around, our team would be more cheerful and energetic.
What is the one food you would never give up?
Haribo’s gummy bears. I become more attentive and stress-free whenever I eat them.
Who is your favourite athlete?
Lionel Messi. He’s my role model because of his magical dribbling skills. He is also an expert goal-scorer, making him one of the best players in the world.