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)
HVAA
Founded1950
GroundHappy Valley Recreation Ground
Po Kong Village Road Park
ChairmanChen Zhishi
Head CoachShum Kwok Pui
LeagueHong Kong First Division
2018–19First Division, 1st
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Happy Valley Athletic Association (Chinese: 愉園體育會), known simply as Happy Valley or HVAA, are a Hong Kong football club currently playing in the Hong Kong First Division. 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.

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

History[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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 was later released and all have claimed that they was not arrested, but rather, they had been 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 at the top flight.

2010s[edit]

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 FC 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.

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

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

No. Position Player
1 Hong Kong GK Yeung Lap Wai
2 Hong Kong DF Cheung Chun Hin
5 Hong Kong DF Tam Chi Kit
7 Bosnia and Herzegovina MF Mahir Karić FP
9 Albania FW Ndue Mujeci FP
10 Hong Kong MF Liu Yik Shing
11 Hong Kong FW Lai Ming Lai
12 Hong Kong DF Lee Chi Ho
15 Hong Kong DF Wong Ho Yin
17 Hong Kong MF Wong Sheung Choi
18 Hong Kong DF Wong King Wah (captain)
No. Position Player
19 Hong Kong MF Wong Wing Kit
20 Serbia DF Igor Miović FP
21 Hong Kong FW Wong Chi Hong
22 Hong Kong DF Siu Chi Ho
23 Hong Kong FW Cheng Lai Hin
24 Hong Kong DF Poon Pui Hin
26 Hong Kong FW Yuen Sai Kit
27 Hong Kong MF Yeung Chi Kit
29 Hong Kong FW Chen Liming
30 Hong Kong GK Yan Kin Keung
88 Hong Kong GK Chung Wai Ho

Remarks:
FP These players are registered as foreign players.

Retired numbers[edit]

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

No. Position Player
8 MF Cheung Sai Ho (posthumous)

Honours[edit]

Major trophies are listed below.

League[edit]

Champions (6): 1964–65, 1988–89, 1998–99, 2000–01, 2002–03, 2005–06, 2018–19
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, 2017–18
Runners-up (1): 2012–13
Champions (3): 1957–58, 1968–69, 2016–17

Cup competitions[edit]

Champions (6): 1969–70, 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 (4): 1986–87, 1993–94, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07
Champions (1): 2018–19
Champions (1): 2000–01
Runners-up (5): 2002–03, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07
Champions (1): 1975–76
Runners-up (3): 1977–78, 1988–89, 1996–97

Continental record[edit]

Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
1998/99 Asian Cup Winners' Cup First round Pakistan PIA FC (w/o)
Second round Maldives New Radiant 1–5 3–1 4–6
Quarter-final South Korea Chunnam Dragons 0–3 1–4 1–7
2000 Asian Club Championship First round Vietnam Thể Công Withdrew
2000/01 Asian Cup Winners Cup Second round Japan Nagoya Grampus Eight 0–3 3–1 6–1
2002 Asian Club Championship First round Macau Lam Pak 7–0 0–5 12–0
Second round China Dalian Shide 0–2 8–1 1–10
2005 AFC Cup Group E Maldives New Radiant 0–2 2–0 4th
Singapore Home United 0–1 5–0
Malaysia Pahang 1–1 3–1
2006 AFC Cup Group F Maldives Hurriyya SC 3–0 1–1 3rd
Singapore Tampines Rovers 0–4 3–1
Malaysia Selangor 2–3 4–3
2007 AFC Cup Group E Maldives New Radiant 2–1 0–2 3rd
Singapore Warriors FC 1–4 2–1
India Mahindra United 2–1 3–1

Coaches[edit]

Club's mascot[edit]

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

References[edit]

  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.

External links[edit]