Happy Valley AA

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Happy Valley
Happy Valley Athletic Association, Football Section, Logo.png
Full nameHappy Valley Athletic Association Limited
Nickname(s)快活谷 (Happy Valley)
Short nameHVAA
Founded1950
Ground Sham Shui Po Sports Ground
Capacity2,194
PresidentChen Zhishi
Chairman Pui Kwan Kay
Manager Pau Ka Yiu
League Hong Kong Premier League
2019–20 6th
Website Club website
Soccerball current event.svg Current season

Happy Valley Athletic Association (Chinese :愉園體育會), known simply as Happy Valley or HVAA, is a Hong Kong football club which currently competes in the Hong Kong Premier League. They are historically one of the most successful football clubs in Hong Kong, having won the First Division six times and had consistently been in the top division, until they were relegated to the Second Division after the 2009–10 season.

Contents

The club is part of a sports association which also operates swimming, basketball, first aid, table tennis, athletics and various other recreation activities under its umbrella.

History

Following the Second World War, the club was unofficially formed by five former schoolmates at Overseas Chinese University in Taichung, Taiwan. The schoolmates, Ng Kai Chi, Cheung Bing Fat, Cheung Bing Hung, Xie Gun Yang and Yip Wing Tim, frequently gathered at Ng's residence for meetings and were the club's founding fathers as well as players. Although not officially a club at the time, they organized pickup matches against other local teams.

1950s

Happy Valley formally registered with the Hong Kong Football Association in 1950 and in 1955 participated in the Chinese Amateur Athletic Federation of Hong Kong's summer football tournament, their first official competition.

During the 1957–58 season, the club were accepted into the Hong Kong Third A Division League. Success at the league level was immediate as the club won league titles in successive years, first winning the Third Division in 1957–58 and then winning the Second Division in 1958–59. Led by manager Chu Wing Keung, Happy Valley finished runners during their inaugural First Division campaign. The squad that season was notably young in age and featured future star Wong Man Wai.

1960s

In the aftermath of the 1967 Leftist Riots, Happy Valley strongly opposed the HKFA's decision to issue a statement in support of the actions of the police. The club responded by withdrawing from the First Division in protest. [1] They reentered the Hong Kong football league system a year later in 1968 through the Third Division with a three-year plan to return to the top flight. The club recruited new players such as Lo Tak Kuen, Chan Jong Deng, and former Hong Kong Rangers star Chung Cho Wai. The plan was successful and Happy Valley returned to the First Division in 1970.

1970s – 2000s

Happy Valley finished near the top of the table many times during this decade but were never able to finish as champions. In 1988–89, however, the club finally won the league for the first time since 1965.

With the success of Eastern and other company sponsored teams in the early '90s, Happy Valley were only able to achieve mid table finishes. By the middle of the decade, Eastern decided to rebuild with a young squad following their relegation and the company sponsored teams withdrew from the league. This allowed Happy Valley to enjoy their greatest run of success to date, winning four league titles, two Hong Kong FA Cups and three Senior Shields between 1997–2004.

At the conclusion of the 2008–09, chairman Pui Kwan Kay announced that Kwong Hiu Ming had been hired as Director of Football. His hiring led to a decision to restructure the football club, so as to reduce to the operational budget down to $3 million HKD. All players, with the exception of the three foreign players Ling Cong, Ciu Lin and Godfred Karikari were released and cheaper, younger players were signed. [2]

In January 2010, several players boycotted training due to salary arrears. During the same year on 5 May, the ICAC arrested Ling Cong, Niu Jianlong, Wu Haopeng, Yu Yang and one other former player on suspicion of bribery and match fixing. Ling, Niu, and Wu were later released and all have claimed that they were not arrested, but rather, brought in for questioning in order to assist in the investigation. [3] Yu Yang plead guilty to one count of offering an advantage to an agent and was sentenced to 10 months in jail. [4] He was later banned for life by the HKFA following a Disciplinary Task Force meeting. [5] The 60th anniversary of the club ended unceremoniously as the club finished at the bottom of the table, relegating them to the Second Division following a 40-year run in the top flight.

2010s

During the club's spell in the Second Division, they were able to retain important pieces such as keeper Cheung Wai Hong while signing Yuen Kin Man and Giorgi Kobakhidze. After a three-year absence, the club were promoted back to the First Division following a second-place finish in 2012–13.

On 5 January 2014, Happy Valley were once again at the centre of match fixing allegations as seven coaching staff and players were arrested by the ICAC following a big 5–0 loss to Sun Hei. [6] [7] Officials entered the team's dressing room at Tsing Yi Sports Ground immediately after the loss and took the seven members in for questioning on suspicion. Three days later, the HKFA postponed all of Happy Valley's for the next month pending the result of a hearing in which the club was to present to an Ad Hoc Committee that they were financially and operationally able to continue the remainder of the season. [8] On 12 February 2014, the HKFA suspended Happy Valley for the duration of the First Division League season as well as expelling them from the FA Cup . [9] The Eastern Court convicted player Saša Mus and deputy manager Hinson Leung of various crimes in connection to match fixing, sentencing Mus to 12 months of jail and fining Leung $4,000 HKD. The club were relegated following the year.

After a last place finish in 2015–16, the club were relegated to the bottom tier of Hong Kong football for the first time in 48 years.

Following successive relegations, it was decided that for the 2016–17 season, Happy Valley would loan players from Tung Sing and Chelsea Soccer School (HK). A U-18 academy team would also be restarted. The decisions proved to be very successful as Happy Valley lost only one league game all season en route to the Third Division title.

In the 2017–18 season, the club once again won the league title and were promoted back to the First Division.

Happy Valley won the First Division during the 2018–19 season. They applied for promotion to the Hong Kong Premier League at the conclusion of the season and were accepted on 17 June 2019. [10]

Team staff

PositionStaff
Director of football Flag of Hong Kong.svg Poon Man Tik
Head coach Flag of Hong Kong.svg Pau Ka Yiu
Assistant coach Flag of Hong Kong.svg Shum Kwok Pui
Assistant coach Flag of Hong Kong.svg Luk Koon Pong
Goalkeeping coach Flag of Hong Kong.svg Yan Kin Keung

Source: Happy Valley AA

Current squad

First team

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.Pos.NationPlayer
1 GK Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Chung Wai Ho
2 DF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Cheung Chun Hin
3 DF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Yung Hui To
4 MF Flag of England.svg  ENG Charlie Scott FP
5 DF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Yip Cheuk Man
6 DF Flag of Brazil.svg  BRA Luciano (captain)FP
7 FW Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Yuen Sai Kit
9 MF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Wong Chi Hong
10 MF Flag of Brazil.svg  BRA Mikael FP
11 MF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Poon Pui Hin
12 DF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Fung Tsz Hin
13 MF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Jerry Lam
14 FW Flag of Nigeria.svg  NGA Razaq Adegbite FP
15 DF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Wong Ho Yin
16 MF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Lai Pui Kei
17 GK Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG To Chun Kiu
No.Pos.NationPlayer
18 DF Flag of Macau.svg  MAC Lam Ngai Tong LP
19 MF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Jahangir Khan
20 DF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Chan Wai Hin
21 FW Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG So Dick On
22 GK Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Ng Wai Him
23 DF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Siu Chi Ho
24 MF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Yu Joy Yin
25 MF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Yeung Dik Lun
27 MF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Ng Ka Yeung
28 FW Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Chu Wai Kwan
32 DF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Lam Hin Ting
33 DF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Chan Yun Tung
38 MF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Henry Moore
47 FW Flag of Nigeria.svg  NGA Robert Odu FP
50 DF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Tsang Chi Hau
94 GK Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Tse Ka Wing

Remarks:
LP These players are registered as local players in Hong Kong domestic football competitions.
FP These players are registered as foreign players.

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.Pos.NationPlayer

Retired numbers

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.Pos.NationPlayer
8 MF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Cheung Sai Ho (posthumous)

Honours

Major trophies are listed below.

League

Champions (6): 1964–65, 1988–89, 1998–99, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2005–06
Runners-up (16): 1959–60, 1960–61, 1961–62, 1963–64, 1965–66, 1974–75, 1977–78, 1978–79, 1979–80, 1981–82, 1985–86, 1987–88, 1990–91, 1999–00, 2001–02, 2004–05
Champions (3): 1958–59, 1969–70, 2018–19
Runners-up (1): 2012–13
Champions (3): 1957–58, 1968–69, 2017–18
Champions (1): 2016–17

Cup competitions

Champions (5): 1977–78, 1982–83, 1989–90, 1997–98, 2003–04
Runners-up (9): 1966–67, 1983–84, 1984–85, 1987–88, 1994–95, 1999–00, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2005–06
Champions (2): 1999–00, 2003–04
Runners-up (5): 1986–87, 1993–94, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07
Runners-up (1): 2020–21
Champions (1): 2000–01
Runners-up (5): 2002–03, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07
Champions (1): 2018–19
Champions (1): 1975–76
Runners-up (3): 1977–78, 1988–89, 1996–97

Continental record

SeasonCompetitionRoundClubHomeAwayAggregate
1998/99 Asian Cup Winners' Cup First round Flag of Pakistan.svg PIA FC (w/o)
Second round Flag of Maldives.svg New Radiant 1–53–14–6
Quarter-final Flag of South Korea.svg Chunnam Dragons 0–31–41–7
2000 Asian Club Championship First round Flag of Vietnam.svg Thể Công Withdrew
2000/01 Asian Cup Winners Cup Second round Flag of Japan.svg Nagoya Grampus Eight 0–33–16–1
2002 Asian Club Championship First round Flag of Macau.svg Lam Pak 7–00–512–0
Second round Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Dalian Shide 0–28–11–10
2005 AFC Cup Group E Flag of Maldives.svg New Radiant 0–22–04th
Flag of Singapore.svg Home United 0–15–0
Flag of Malaysia.svg Pahang 1–13–1
2006 AFC Cup Group F Flag of Maldives.svg Hurriyya SC 3–01–13rd
Flag of Singapore.svg Tampines Rovers 0–43–1
Flag of Malaysia.svg Selangor 2–34–3
2007 AFC Cup Group E Flag of Maldives.svg New Radiant 2–10–23rd
Flag of Singapore.svg Warriors FC 1–42–1
Flag of India.svg Mahindra United 2–13–1

Season-to-season record

SeasonTierDivisionTeamsPositionHome StadiumAttendance/G FA Cup Senior Shield League Cup Sapling Cup
2000–01 1 First Division 81Semi-finalsChampions
2001–02 1 First Division 72Quarter-finalsGroup Stage
2002–03 1 First Division 81Quarter-finalsRunner-upRunner-up
2003–04 1 First Division 103ChampionsChampionsRunner-up
2004–05 1 First Division 92Runner-upRunner-upRunner-up
2005–06 1 First Division 81Runner-upRunner-upRunner-up
2006–07 1 First Division 106Runner-upQuarter-finalsRunner-up
2007–08 1 First Division 104Quarter-finalsSemi-finalsGroup Stage
2008–09 1 First Division 138Quarter-finalsFirst RoundFirst Round
2009–10 1 First Division 1110 Kowloon Bay Sports Ground 349Runner-upFirst Round
2010–11 2 Second Division 125
2011–12 2 Second Division 126
2012–13 2 Second Division 112
2013–14 1 First Division 12Disqualified Siu Sai Wan Sports Ground
Tai Po Sports Ground
Kowloon Bay Sports Ground
730DisqualifiedQuarter-finals
2014–15 2 First Division 1514
2015–16 3 Second Division 1212
2016–17 4 Third Division 141
2017–18 3 Second Division 141
2018–19 2 First Division 141
2019–20 1 Premier League 106 Hammer Hill Road Sports Ground 555Quater-finalsFirst RoundGroup Stage

Note:

  1st or Champions  2nd or Runner-up  3rd place  Promotion  Relegation

Coaches

Club's mascot

The mascot of Happy Valley is a panda, as the fan club's captain wearing the number 12 jersey on the squad list.

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References

  1. Lee, Chun Ying (2015). 足球王國:戰後初期的香港足球. Hong Kong: Joint Publishing. p. 188.
  2. https://hk.sports.yahoo.com/090712/42/3g3sh.html
  3. http://sports.qq.com/a/20100513/000593.htm
  4. "Footballer pleads guilty to game-fixing charge". www.chinadaily.com.cn. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  5. "香港足球總會". www.hkfa.com. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  6. "Happy Valley in match-fixing probe". The Standard. 6 January 2014. Archived from the original on 7 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  7. "As ICAC probes alleged match-fixing, HKFA vows to step up checks on club backers". South China Morning Post. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  8. "HKFA – News : ICAC Investigation". www.hkfa.com. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  9. "Happy Valley and Tuen Mun football clubs suspended from league amid match-fixing probe". South China Morning Post. 12 February 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  10. Ng, Ka Kei. "港超聯來季10隊角逐 富力轉為正式投票會員在望". Upower. Retrieved 17 June 2019.(in Chinese)