Aston Villa to defend Soccer Sevens title in Hong Kong with EPL teams

Aston Villa to Defend Title at 25th Anniversary HKFC Standard Chartered Soccer Sevens

Seven-time winners and defending champions Aston Villa are set to participate in the HKFC Standard Chartered Soccer Sevens in Hong Kong, alongside several English Premier League clubs. The tournament, marking its 25th year, is scheduled from May 24 to 26 and will introduce a women’s edition, with the participating teams to be revealed in April.

Aston Villa made a triumphant return to the tournament last year after a Covid-19-induced hiatus and emerged victorious as the first-ever winners of the 16-team, three-day event. Joining them this year are three-time champions Newcastle, along with Fulham, West Ham United, and Brighton and Hove Albion from the Premier League. Scottish Premiership regulars Rangers and Leicester City, currently second in the EFL Championship and two-time Sevens champions, will also feature.

Tai Po, last year’s runners-up, will represent the Hong Kong Premier League alongside HK U23 in a roster of 16 teams for the main event and 10 for the Masters event. HKFC chairman Neil Jensen expressed delight in welcoming Aston Villa back for another exciting edition of the tournament.

Former stars like England international Jack Grealish, who played in the tournament three times during his time at Aston Villa’s youth academy before moving to Manchester City, have graced the Hong Kong event. Other notable players who transitioned from the tournament to successful careers include Gabriel Agbonlahor and Barry Bannan.

The tournament has seen the likes of Marc Albrighton and Wojciech Szczesny pass through its doors, with HKFA suspending men’s Premier League fixtures in previous years to accommodate Sevens participation. However, it is understood that this arrangement will not be in place for the upcoming edition.

The Soccer Sevens promises an exciting showcase of talent, with clubs and players eager to make their mark in Hong Kong once again. Fans can anticipate fervent competition and the potential emergence of future footballing stars.

Mohamed Suez

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