Tournament regulars KCC Veterans return to the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens once more after reaching their third Plate final in 2016 before losing an exciting penalty shootout to Hong Kong rivals Yau Yee League Masters following a goalless draw in what was a repeat of the 2009 final.
The historic Kowloon institution has been well represented at the Happy Valley tournament over the years, with former players including Liverpool and England legend John Barnes, ex-Scotland and Everton forward Pat Nevin and former Northern Ireland and Wimbledon striker Lawrie Sanchez all turning out at some stage.
Last year, the side lost their opening Group A game 1-0 to USRC and drew 1-1 with Ajax All Stars on Friday night. Featuring Scottish league journeyman James Grady, KCC Veterans returned on the Saturday to play out a goalless draw with HKFC Chairman’s Select before advancing to the Plate final in third place in the standings by defeating Discovery Bay 2-0.
It was the second successive year KCC Veterans had progressed to the Plate final after the representative team defeated HKFC Chairman’s Select 3-1 in 2015 following goals from Marcel Sossnowski, Grady and Ian Nelson to lift the title. They also previously won the second-tier competition in 2009 by defeating Yau Yee League Masters 2-0 in the final.
The Veterans achieved their best-ever performance at the HKFC Citi Soccer Sevens in 2008 and 2011 when they advanced beyond to group stage to make the Cup quarter-finals.