On the back of their A-League form this year the Wellington Phoenix will make their debut at this year’s HKFC Citibank Soccer Sevens tournament to be held at Hong Kong Football Club from May 29-31.
The Phoenix will be the first New Zealand club to take part in the annual seven-a-side tournament which is into its 16th year. They will face stiff competition for Rookie-Of-The-Year status with three other teams on debut: Spanish club Atletico Madrid, English Premier League team Stoke City, and Shanghai’s SIPG.
The 16-team tournament regularly features the world’s biggest clubs with Manchester City taking the title in 2014. This year’s line up includes EPL teams Aston Villa, Leicester City, Newcastle United, and West Ham United. They are joined by leading teams from the A-League, Chinese Super League, Hong Kong Premier League and La Liga.
"It is a brillliant opportunity to compete against the world’s best and we are very excited to be heading to Hong Kong," Wellington Phoenix General Manager David Dome said..
"The Football United Tour last year showed we could foot it against EPL sides West Ham United and Newcastle United. The team has been putting in some incredible performances lately and this is looking like it could be our best season yet."
Dome said the Phoenix’s partnership with Huawei had been instrumental in opening doors to such opportunities.
"Last year they helped us to bring EPL teams to New Zealand. For many of the boys that had felt like a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Now, with Huawei helping open the door to this tournament, we’ll be picking an up-and-coming team to take on some of the best from the EPL, La Liga, and Asia."
Huawei Public Affairs Director Andrew Bowater said the chance to take the Phoenix to Hong Kong was too good to miss.
"It’s been a great ride over the past couple of years with the Phoenix. We wanted to build on this season’s momentum and also look for how we could top last year We’re looking forward to seeing what they can do in Hong Kong," Bowater said.
"We hope as many fans as possible can join us up in Hong Kong for what will be an unforgettable weekend."
He said there would also be some friendly rivalry within the company as his counterpart in the Huawei Spanish office had recently announced a sponsorship of Hong Kong tournament rivals Atletico Madrid.
The Phoenix will take a squad of ten players and travel to Hong Kong on May 27, 2015. The travelling group will be announced after the Phoenix complete their 2014/15 Hyundai A-League campaign and will comprise players from the A-League roster and Academy programme.
Original title on Yahoo Sports:Phoenix to play at Hong Kong Soccer Sevens