The under-16 squad from Manchester United Academy was in town to participate in the JC Youth Football Academy Summit. The week-long cultural and football exchange programme with Hong Kong’s elite youth players came to a successful close on 20 August. Partner organisers including The Hong Kong Jockey Club, Manchester United and the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) felt the Summit had widened the horizons of the young participants.
Neil Ryan, coach of the Manchester United under-16 team, mentioned this is one of the best academy tours we have ever experienced. The experiences the boys have picked up this week will be with them for a lifetime and will hopefully not just help them as footballers but help to shape them as good human beings as well.
Highlights of the week were two friendly matches played by the Manchester United U16s against a Hong Kong District All-Stars team and the HKFA U17 Academy team. The atmosphere was excellent with local fans of Manchester United as well as fans and families of the Hong Kong youth team players cheered on them. The games not only attracted more than 2,000 spectators. The live webcasts and match highlights have also recorded over 150,000 views.
During the week, the Hong Kong District All-Stars and HKFA teams also seized the opportunity to train with the Manchester United Academy players and get a taste of their world renowned youth training methods.
Li Tak-nang, Executive Manager, Corporate Branding, of the Hong Kong Jockey Club who is tasked to deliver the Summit, was so much impressed by the self-enhancing spirit of a district team player. After going through the training and competition, the player came to ask for attending the coaching seminar, which was not intended for players.
Former Manchester United star Nicky Butt, a graduate of the Academy himself and now its Head, also joined the Summit. He said the Summit reflected the two parties' shared belief that widening the horizons of young people was essential to their all-round development. He also advised the Hong Kong youth players to live a more professional life with good habits.
The Hong Kong youth players found the programme fruitful which was very good exchange experience. Hung Kin-yi of Hong Kong District All-Starts team and Sun Ming-him of HKFA U17 team expressed the learning of professional spirit from the United squad.
To enhance their experience of the visit, the young United squad joined various cultural activities with their local counterparts throughout the week. These included sightseeing tours to Stanley, The Peak and Victoria Harbour, as well as learning traditional activities such as lion dancing, wushu and making dumplings.
Click here to read the Daily Snapshots and enjoy highlights of the friendly games.