During the winter transfer window, 1st Division club Resources Capital (RCFC) made a big step to bolster their chances to be promoted to the Hong Kong Premier League, as they officially announced the signings of two foreign players. Felipe Sá and Carles Tena, a Brazilian forward and a Spanish center-back respectively, were introduced to the media during team training after the Chinese New Year holidays.
Selected by their Spanish head coach Juan Esteva, Sá and Tena both played in Spain’s 3rd Division before moving to Hong Kong. The 25-year-old Brazilian spent the previous year with Sant Adreu, while Tena, 27, played for Santfeliuenc.
Previously known as Tai Chung, Resources Capital FC were born in 2016 when team president Harry Tang acquired the club and changed its name. The present objective of RCFC is very clear at this point: win the league and climb to the top-flight. So far, it has been going well. In the first half of the season, they collected 30 points with a record of 9 wins, 3 draws, and 1 loss. They currently lead the table, five points ahead of King Fung and Hong Kong Football Club.
For RCFC it was a huge leap compared to the previous year of a mere seventh-place finish. The improvement came as a result of more investment, hard work, and better training methods.
During the the previous off-season, Tang decided to invest more money into the club in order to use full-time players, an obvious advantage over other clubs in the same division. With the new regime, players began to train two hours per day and five times a week, except for those who are still attending university studies. The result of change might not have been instantaneous, but a year later, the club started to blossom.
Ho Shun-yin, the team football director, attributed part of the success to young players learning from their mistakes and making sure they would not happen over and over. Simultaneously, Esteva stressed to correct small game details such as passing and possession. Although mentally prepared, the team would need bigger improvement in the physical and technical parts of the game. Esteva realized the difference when his club encountered teams from the Premier League in friendlies. However, he was positive his club could compete at the highest level in the not so distant future.