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Sapling Cup – just another knock-out competition?

A few days ago the HKFA announced the fixtures for their new tournament: the Sapling Cup. The 9 premier league teams will compete in what appears very similar to the League Cup competition, however with slightly modified rules. The new format should encourage clubs to field more youngsters by requiring the participants to play with at least two U22 players and max. six foreigners (as an alternative to this, clubs can also choose to just field four foreign players).

For the preliminary stage, the clubs will compete in two groups. Group A consists of Kitchee, Eastern, Southern, Yuen Long and Rangers; Group B will accommodate South China, Dreams FC, Pegasus FC and Wong Tai Sin. The best two teams of each group will advance to the Sapling Cup semi-finals, which will take place in spring 2016.

In October there will be three Sapling Cup fixtures in total:

10-Oct – Southern vs Yuen Long at Mong Kok Stadium, 14:30
21-Oct – Eastern vs Kitchee at Mong Kok Stadium, 14:30
28-Oct – Kitchee vs Yuen Long at Kowloon Bay Park, 20:00

What do you think, can the Sapling Cup fulfil its intended role to improve the local talent pool?

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