MERRICK UNVEILS TRAINING SQUAD FOR U22 QUALIFIERS
Hong Kong coach Ernie Merrick has today named a 29-man training squad for the AFC U22 Asian Cup qualifiers in June.
The squad includes 18-year-old Sham Shui Po winger Fong Pak Lun, fresh from his senior international debut in last week’s 5-1 victory over Chinese Taipei.
It also contains two other players who featured in the senior squad in the build-up to that match – 20-year-old TSW Pegasus goalkeeper Tsang Man Fai and attacking midfielder Lau Cheuk Hin, 19, from Sham Shui Po.
“There is plenty of time between now and the tournament for us to have a good look at the players and see what they are capable of,” said Merrick.
“We have an expanded squad of 29 but, as with the process involving the senior squad, I wish to stress that the door is still open for other players to force their way in.”
Hong Kong will face DPR Korea, China PR, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia in Group F of the qualifiers.
The teams will play each other once in a host country still to be determined by the AFC – Thailand is a possibility – between 23 June and 8 July with the top two qualifying for next year’s AFC U22 Asian Cup finals.
“I’m excited about the chance to work with the squad as these are the players on the brink of senior international representation,” added Merrick, who is also responsible for the senior team.
“This will be a good tournament for them in terms of their development. They will learn more about the unique pressures of international football and adapting to an overseas environment.”
Eleven members of the squad are from Sapling, although many of them are on loan from other First Division teams.
The first squad training session will be on Tuesday, 13 March, at Mongkok Stadium, followed by further sessions on 20 March at Sai Tso Wan Training Ground and 27 March back at Mongkok Stadium. All sessions will be from 9:30am to 11:00am.
Hong Kong training squad (for AFC U22 Asian Cup qualifiers)
Goalkeepers: Chiu Yu Ming (Sapling), Tsang Man Fai (TSW Pegasus), Felix Luk (Tuen Mun).
Defenders: Cheung Chun Hei, Yuen Tsun Nam, Li Shu Yeung, Chan Cham Hei, Li Ngai Hoi, Wong Yim Kwan (all Sapling), Fung Hing Wa, Leung Kwun Chung, Hung Jing Yip (all Sham Shui Po).
Midfielders: Ngan Lok Fung (Kitchee), Chan Siu Kwan, Lau Cheuk Hin, Lee Ka Ho (all Sham Shui Po), Lau Ho Lam (Tuen Mun), Li Ka Chun (TSW Pegasus), Tam Lok Hin (Citizen), Choi Kwok Wai (Sapling), Chan Pak Hang (South China).
Forwards: Lo Kong Wai, Wong Wai, Fong Pak Lun, Lee Ka Yiu (all Sham Shui Po), Nam Wing Hang, Kot Cho Wai, Tsang Kin Fong (all Sapling), Lam Hok Hei (Biu Chun Rangers).