District club Tai Po FC hosted their inaugural “Green Force” training session on Tuesday, December 18th, at Kwong Fuk Park. A new initiative by the New Territories side, the “Green Force” project sets out to create a team consisting of Tai Po fans under the tutelage of club staff. Tai Po players will occasionally join in to demonstrate their skills and share their experience with the fans. It is hoped that this initiative will further integrate the club into the local community.
The first practice started with drills led by Leung Kwun-chung, Wong Cho-sum, Lee Ka-yiu, and Chak Ting-fung, while those who wished to play as goalkeepers were assigned to Tsang Man-fai and Alex Chin.
The exercises focused on both ball control and physical fitness. In the hopes of creating a proper experience, the first team training staff ran the session like they usually do, patiently correcting techniques and demanding a high level of commitment. At the end of the training, the fans were split into two teams and played a match together, while learning how to better communicate between each other, and understand their roles on the pitch.
The next few practices are set to begin at 9pm to accommodate more people who are interested to join.
Given the reluctance of many Premier League clubs to work with the local communities, the “Green Force” might be a model that could be easily adopted throughout the league, by highlighting one of the biggest strengths of local football: the intimate atmosphere.