George Jones, 17, Renaissance College
Friday saw local side Kitchee compete against one of the biggest in Europe, Spain’s Villarreal, in what was a charity match with the aim of raising funds to help those affected by Japan’s devastating earthquake in March. Thanks to Young Post, I had front row seats right at the middle of the stadium, and a VIP pass to attend the press conference too! These seats provided prime views of the match played, gave incredible photographic opportunities.
The viewpoint was a perfect one to see the whole affair, which in the first half was particularly tight. Both sides had equal chances, with football legend, Nakata, as dangerous as ever on the pitch (him playing one half for each team). A spectacular shot from distance by Villarreal’s Marco Senna opened proceedings in the 56th minute, leaving the keeper dumbfounded. Goals from Trigueros and Fofo in the closing minutes saw the game end 3-0 to Villarreal, them deserved victors, though Kitchee had much to be proud of in keeping the contest as tough as that for a team going into the toughest international stage in club football, the UEFA Champions League.
As soon as the game finished, I had to rush into the corridors to meet up with the rest to head to the post-match press conference, (unfortunately) missing the on-pitch celebrations. The atmosphere in the room was a new one to me, and one that I’ve always wanted to have an experience of. Though not getting a question in, my counterpart did, this in between those working for local news agencies.
The night as a whole was tremendously enjoyable. The seats and view were fantastic, and moments, such as that of Senna’s goal were spectacular from where I was sitting. My friends too loved it, sneaking up close to try and get some autographs and pictures! My only regret was not getting a question in during the press conference, though as a whole the experience I had that night was brilliant.
Andy Chu, 17 years old, F.6, Carmel Divine Grace Foundation Secondary School
Thank Young Post for granting me a great opportunity to watch a high-quality game and attend the post-match conference.
I was sitting in the row 102, which was close to the player passage so I could see the star players like Senna and Carzola very clearly. It was incredible to be so near to the stars which should only appear on the screen.
All of us were screaming and shouting all the time because of the high-class performance of both teams. During the half time, a staff from Villarreal threw about twenty Villarreal official scarfs to the supporters. Those lucky guys having received the scarfs were extremely thrilled and sung the Villarreal song loudly together. At that time I realized Hong Kong football fans could be as crazy as Latin football lovers.
When the whistle was blown, I would like to get the autographs from the Villarreal stars near the player passage. Yet I could not do so as I had to meet Young Post reporter Kevin immediately to attend the press conference! In the conference room, everyone was professional reporter and only George and I were youngsters. I became nervous and I quite wanted to hold back. But suddenly, I remembered Kevin’s words: grab the chance and be aggressive. I asked the general manager of Kitchee, Ken Ng which position the new Asian player they were going to employ belong to. I am a big fan of Kitchee and I had been longing for the answer. Today I finally got the chance.
After the end of the conference, I asked Mr Ng several more questions. While interviewing Mr Ng,I really felt being a reporter was not easy as I had to ask thoughtful questions and then jot notes at my fastest speed to record his words as accurately as possible.
Lastly, I saw three Kitchee players, Chino, Dani and Diaz outside the stadium. I was wearing the memorial T-shirt of the match and I got their signatures on my back. Also, I knew Diaz was leaving Hong Kong so I hugged him to dedicate my best wishes to him.
I sincerely thank Young Post for bringing me a memorable night! I hope I will have the chance to join the activities held by Young Post in the coming days!
Ruby Leung, 14, Maryknoll Convent School
Despite being only half full, the Hong Kong Stadium was full of cries of excitement and joy as Kitchee played against Villarreal. There were parents bring their children, die-hard fans who screamed their lungs out when the footballers passed by, and people like me who just wanted to spend a Friday night cheering and screaming and enjoying a hot dog.
As a guest player, Japanese footballer Hidetoshi Nakata was there to play for Kitchee for the first half of the match and then he played for Villarreal for the second half of it.
The crowd was asking for goals, and their wish came true in the second half. At 56 minutes, Villarreal captain Marcos Senna scored the first goal. When the big screen above us showed “GOAL!” and everybody in the stadium rose and cheered. There were two more at 87 minutes and 90 minutes and eventually Villarreal beat Kitchee 3-0.
This was the first live football match I’ve ever been to, and I really enjoyed the whole match, and the atmosphere, where we fight to get the towels the footballers threw at us. I even got autographs from Borja Valero and Carlos Marchena!
Karen Poon Kei Wai, 16, SKH Tsoi Kung Po Secondary School
The invitational tournament attracted over 7000 football fans to support it. It was a great chance to see Spanish team Villarreal showing their football skills and the love of Japan. It is an important event to promote local football and raise fund to support Japan after the earthquakes, tsunamis and nuclear disasters.
I was impressed by the performance of Villarreal. They scored three goals and it was fascinating. They passed the ball accurately with fast pace. It is difficult to find teams playing with this style in local football.
Hidetoshi Nakata was the spotlight of the match. He raised the atmosphere of audience. Although Kitchee lost the game, the most important thing is that they can gain a great experience to play with the international football team. The match also feasted football fans’ eyes.
Additional report and compiled by Kevin Kung