Kitchee Trio Enjoyed Brilliant International Exper

As the leading Hong Kong football side that has performed admirably, both domestically and regionally, over the past few seasons, Kitchee has seen its players steadily earning their stripes in international football by donning the prestigious Hong Kong shirt. The recent version of the highly-acclaimed Hong Kong team is certainly without exception, as the side is dotted with talented Kitchee players. Amongst them, the neutralized trio of Alexander Akande, Paulo Carreiro and Alessandro Ferreira, have seemingly attracted most of the spotlight, as Hong Kong’s latest recruits tried to find their ways in international football. Kitchee striker Alexander Akande opened his scoring account for Hong Kong on his international debut against Myanmar, attributed Hong Kong’s recent good showing on the international stage to the veteran leadership within the dressing room. “Before my time with the Hong Kong squad, I hardly know the team’s veteran players such as (Chan) Siu-ki. Sure enough, I know him as a player but whenever we bump into each other, we would just nod politely and smile,” said the speedy Akande. “However, after getting to know Siu-ki through the Hong Kong squad, I discovered that he is a very nice bloke off the pitch, extremely helpful to all the newcomers in the Hong Kong team, very different from the cool persona that he displays off the pitch. In addition, we always communicate before and after training sessions, hoping to improve our on-field understanding. Lee Chi-ho and Yapp Hung-fai are two players who do not speak much off the pitch, but other players do sit up and take notice every time when they speak and they always display great leadership both on and off the pitch.” Paulo Carreiro, whose goal against Maldives in the recent World Cup qualifier proved to be the match-winner, was genuinely surprised by the short amount of time it took him to settle into the Hong Kong squad. “Honestly, I am very surprised at how quickly I have settled into the dressing room. When I look back, I thought it would take me some time to earn the trust of my teammates. However, they have all treated me as part of the family right from the first day and I am very grateful to that,” Carreiro offered. “As a part of the Hong Kong team, I want to stress that I am not here to take anyone’s spot nor opportunity. I just want to fight and to battle for this city, while helping Hong Kong to achieve the best possible results on the pitch.” Versatile forward Alessandro Ferreira started the past two World Cup qualifiers for Hong Kong and the lanky forward vividly recalled how emotional he was after the epic Hong Kong-China battle in mid-November. “I returned home after the game and I was still feeling very excited, with images of the match still replaying over and over in my mind. I did not end up falling asleep until three or four in the morning. In fact, the atmosphere on the evening was so enjoyable, with fans donning Hong Kong colors everywhere that you looked in the stadium. It was truly very touching,” Ferreira acknowledged. “People might have questioned the ability of the Hong Kong team before but after such an encouraging battle, no one can ever look down on us anymore!”