Wallsend Boys Club have being on their travels, competing in the Masters section of the Honk Kong Citibank Soccer Sevens.
The more mature outfit travelled alongside the youthful Newcastle United team who finished as unlucky semi-finalists in the main competition, which you can read about HERE.
Thanks though to Chris Vale who takes up the story of Wallsend Boys Club representing Tyneside in the Masters.
Wallsend BC made the Hong Kong Citibank Soccer Sevens Masters final but lost 2-1 to USRC (who were the losing finalists in 2014). Making the final was fantastic given that the team only came together on Friday night to play.
Only our second appearance in the tournament and commendable, given the hot and humid ‘un-Wallsend like’ conditions.
USRC went ahead with a disputed penalty before Michael Bridges levelled just before half-time. USRC scored midway through the second half to take the Masters Cup 2-1.
WBC Team – Michael Bridges (capt), Robbie Elliott, Darren Timmons, John Watson, Steve Cuggy, Neil Jensen, Lloyd Owusu, Johnny Gbenda-Charles, Rudi Hollaender (GK), Chris Greenacre.
Coach – Peter Beardsley
Managers – Tony Sealy, Chris Vale (former WBC players, now resident in HK).
WBC Chairman – Steve Dale.
The Wallsend Boys Club team had earlier finished their group as joint leaders with USRC, having beaten HKFC and KCC (Kowloon Cricket Club) 1-0, Hong Kong champions Kitchee All Stars FC 2-0 and drawing with USRC 1-1.
The knock out stages on Sunday saw WBC beat Singapore Cricket Club 1-0 in the semi-final,setting up the final with USRC – a side which features many HK resident Brazilian players from the South China league.
While in HK, WBC carried out training sessions for 60 local school children arranged by their lead sponsors Adventure Sports Academy (ASA).
They also hosted a lunch Q&A session with Peter Beardsley which included 70 guests.
Lunch sponsors included ASA, world famous Sam’s Tailors, Upper House Hong Kong (voted #1 hotel in Asia), and Art Futures Group. The HK side of the WBC trip was organised by former WBC players now based in Hong Kong, Tony Sealy, Neil Jensen and Chris Vale.
(Thanks to Christiaan Hart of F8 Photography for the team photo in yellow shirts).
Chairman Steve Dale:
“We are very proud of the squad this year. To reach the final was an achievement in itself in our 2nd appearance at this event – 6 games in 3 days in these conditions is not easy, it’s hot enough just watching!
USRC played well in the final and congratulations to them. We’re extremely proud of the other things we have achieved this year in Hong Kong, the coaching sessions with the local kids for example.
“With things like that and the Peter Beardsley lunch we have raised the profile of the club far and wide; and we have made many good friends.
“Apart from bringing players, we also use the trip to reward WBC people who have given years of service to the Club and this year we brought Alan Jarvis and Kevin Riley. We’ll be back next year aiming to go one better!”