Wednesday 29 May 2013
Ahead of the Barclays Asia Trophy's return to Hong Kong in July, now TV, the broadcaster who will be covering the tournament in the region, came to get a taste of a matchday in the Barclays Premier League in England.
What they experienced has whetted their appetite for when the tournament arrives later this summer with Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland joining Hong Kong champions South China in a four-team competition.
"In Hong Kong, with the commentators speaking in Chinese, we focus more on the match itself"
Yancy Chu, a presenter on now TV, was in awe of her first experience of Barclays Premier League matches, which she had only watched on TV back in Hong Kong. One of the fixtures she went to was Arsenal v Wigan Athletic and the excitement, atmosphere and action she witnessed there has meant that for Chu the arrival of the tournament in less than two months cannot come soon enough.
"I can't wait for it to happen," Chu said. "It will be great for the people of Hong Kong to come to sample such an atmosphere as well as seeing some of the best players in the world. The noise is the big factor for me; you can really feel it all around you.
"It's quite different [from TV]. In Hong Kong, with the commentators speaking in Chinese, we focus more on the match itself. But the magic itself gets you really excited about it because when the ball is coming to your end everyone stands up because they are getting intense about it. Watching it at home you wouldn’t have that feeling."
Chu, now TV football pundit Evans Choi, a former player in Hong Kong, and now TV commentator Calvin Pui, visited seven Barclays Premier League clubs and Yancy was most impressed by the facilities at Manchester City, one of the three Barclays Premier League teams participating in the Barclays Asia Trophy.
"BAT is very good thing for the whole city, which is really looking forward to this big event"
York Yee Evans Choi
Choi is looking forward to the Barclays Asia Trophy coming to Hong Kong, which benefits from the spotlight and interest that the tournament attracts. "It's a very good thing for the whole city, which is really looking forward to this big event," he said.
Choi picked out the Barclays Premier League players whom the fans will be looking forward to seeing in the flesh. "Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero and the player of the year Gareth Bale will be the most popular because they are such fantastic players," he added.
For the players who will be coming to Hong Kong, Chu recommends that they should take the opportunity to eat some local cuisine.
"They should try dim sum, but not in a chain restaurant but a really local place," she said. "But for those who may have already tried dim sum there, they should eat fusion food, which is quite big in Hong Kong."
Hong Kong's famed nightlife may be beyond the players, who will be busy preparing themselves for the new season, but Chu recommends it for any fan travelling to Hong Kong to support their team.
"You just can’t miss it," she said. "People will drag you out and you will stay out the whole night. In London, you might stay out till 2 or 3am. In Hong Kong, we party till 6am."