A Season of Firsts
A Season of Firsts07 Feb 2022
Article by Lyndsay Stewart (Women’s Soccer Team Representative)
Photos by @hk_12th (Instagram)
Just about half way through the season, and HKFC Women’s Soccer’s 2021/2022 campaign can already be described as a season of many firsts. It is our first time going undefeated in 6 games, our first time winning 4 games consecutively, our first time sitting top of the table, and the first, of many, Junior Soccer X Women’s Soccer Day.
Our early success this season can be attributed to many things. Over the 2021 summer, the team made several recruitments, including new UEFA A Licensed Head Coach, Chancy Cooke. Chancy spent quite a bit of time observing the team last year, and came in with a very clear plan and vision for how he wanted the team to play. We spent our pre-season working tirelessly on a new system and style of play, and our early results are reflections of this.
Our Junior Soccer girls programme continues its exponential growth, and once again has provided the Women’s team with players that have proven they are not only capable of competing in the Women’s game, but of excelling in it. U-18 players Natalie Lam, Stella Liu and Lana Wearne each scored the game winning goals in our 4 consecutive wins this year. We are grateful to Junior Soccer Chairman, Nam Nguyen, for his tireless work to grow the Junior Soccer programme over the last few years. We are also grateful for the Junior Soccer Girls Programme Director, Lo Yiu Hung, known as Hung Jai to most, for his enthusiastic dedication to the Girls programme. It is very clear how much the players value his coaching
and advice, and how much they enjoy playing for him. He is a well-respected figure in the women’s football scene in Hong Kong, and is undoubtedly one of the Soccer Section’s biggest assets.
Though our results this season are indeed a huge highlight, it will be pretty difficult to top our first-ever, long overdue (thanks COVID), Junior Soccer × Women’s Soccer Day. Organised by Women’s player Mia Williams and Junior Soccer Chairman Nam Nguyen, it was very well attended – close to 300 players and parents registered for the day. The afternoon began with a meet and greet with our team behind the Sportsman’s Bar, and finished with the parents, young players, and their pompoms filling the stands to cheer us on in our match against Tai Po. The game was an exciting one, and finished with none other than our 15 year old (yes, 15) star player Natalie Lam scoring a spectacular longrange game winner in the 80th minute. The stands erupted, with many saying it was the loudest the HKFC stands have been in a long time. When the final whistle blew, to the groundskeeper’s dismay, the young girls rushed the pitch to celebrate with the team. I think I can easily speak on behalf of our team when I say it was the most memorable day in the history of our programme. It was a day that a group of young female athletes got to see female players be the stars of the show, and celebrated for their amazing athletic performances. Some, like goal scorer Natalie Lam, only a few years older than them.
Increasing the visibility of women in sports is a huge priority for us, and it is something that is still very much lacking everywhere in women’s sports, and even more so in Hong Kong. On top of the Junior Soccer X Women’s Soccer day, we’ve taken a few other steps this season to improve this, including getting more of the team out to help coach at the Saturday Junior Soccer trainings.
We’ve also started an Instagram page, to not only promote and improve communication and awareness of our team, but to do our part to generally increase visibility of women in sports for our young girls. Check us out and give us a follow to stay up to date on what we’re up to and find out when we play - @hkfcwomensoccer. We’d also like to thank Robbie Bacon and Seb Page who continue to call out and push the Hong Kong Football Association to provide better and more equitable match times to allow us to showcase our team and the Women’s game in Hong Kong.
Girls and Women’s soccer have made huge strides at the Club and in Hong Kong, but we still have a long way to go. We are excited about this team, and will continue to champion the fight for more resources and equity for girls and women’s programmes.
We hope you have learned a little bit more about us, and are encouraged to come out and to support us this season. Please feel free to reach out to us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or sending us a message on Instagram, @hkfcwomensoccer.