Scottish giants Rangers and Italian Serie A side Cagliari Calcio will both return to the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens for this year’s event when it is held at Hong Kong Football Club from May 18-20, along with tournament newcomers Newcastle Jets from Australia.
Rangers, runners-up in 2009 and 2010, and Cagliari both featured in last year’s event and return to Happy Valley looking to build on their performances 12 months ago while Newcastle Jets will make their first-ever appearance at the three-day event.
The trio join eight-time Japanese champions Kashima Antlers as well as A-League side Wellington Phoenix and six Hong Kong-based sides in the 16-team Main Event.
“This is the first time ever that we will see 10 professional clubs from overseas represented at the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens,” says Tournament Director Chris Plowman.
“It will be good to see Rangers, Cagliari Calcio, Kashima Antlers and Wellington Phoenix all return and, as we continue to strive to attract clubs from across the world, this year will also see two Newcastles from opposite sides of the globe traveling to Sports Road.
“As well as welcoming back Newcastle United from the North East of England we will also see first timers, Newcastle Jets from north of Sydney, Australia.”
Defending champions Leicester City, former winners Aston Villa as well as Newcastle United and newcomers Brighton & Hove Albion will fly the flag for English football in this year’s tournament.
Hong Kong football will have a strong representation at the tournament, with Hong Kong Premier League champions Kitchee fielding a team yet again while the Hong Kong Football Association will send the HKFA Red Dragons
And hosts Hong Kong Football Club will also have two representatives taking part, HKFC and HKFC Captain’s Select and they will be joined in the draw by the Yau Yee League Select and a team from the Singapore Cricket Club.
The draw for this year’s tournament will be held at Hong Kong Football Club on April 17 and the event will kick off with the Masters Event on May 18 before the Main Event commences on May 19, running through until May 20.
The 2018 HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens will be the 19th edition of the event, with 16 teams featuring some of the finest young talent from around the world due to participate in the main event.
Ten teams will also compete in the Masters tournament, which has in the past attracted former stars such as ex-Liverpool and Ajax Amsterdam playmaker Jari Litmanen, former England and Nottingham Forest defender Des Walker as well as ex-England goalkeeper David James.