United's Hong Kong Football Club Soccer Sevens squad


By Dan King - Newcastle United Digital Editor

Peter Beardsley believes Magpies winger Rolando Aarons can be one of the stars of this year's Hong Kong Football Club Citibank Soccer Sevens.

The 18-year-old winger played a bit-part role at last year's tournament as Newcastle finished as runners-up to Leicester City, but has made huge strides this season and was a non-playing member of the first-team party for Saturday's win over Cardiff City.

United will head to the Far East for the competition, which takes place in the Happy Valley region between May 23rd and May 25th, and Jamaican starlet Aarons is set to be named in Beardsley's ten-man squad.

And Football Development Manager Beardsley said: "He's just signed a new contract and is someone the Club are quite excited about. He's a flying winger with really good ability.

"It'll be a great experience for him in Hong Kong. He's good running on the ball, which is what you need on a pitch like that, and he's one that we've got high hopes for in the first team. He's probably the main one. We expect him to do good things."

Newcastle, who lifted the trophy in 2012, have been drawn in Group A this year alongside Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande, HKFA U-23 and hosts Hong Kong Football Club.

Goalkeeper Jak Alnwick, 20, is likely to be United's most experienced player at the tournament.

"Jak has been three years in a row," said Beardsley, who will juggle his managerial duties at the Soccer Sevens with playing for Wallsend Boys Club in the Masters Tournament.

"He's a bit older than the other boys and he's seen and done it, so he'll help the other kids. Having his voice at the back will be perfect. He can organise them.

"We'll be quite young in terms of the team we have but whatever happens, it will be a brilliant experience for them. That's what it's all about.

"You learn a lot about the young kids that you work with when they're on tour - what type of character they've got, how they fill in their time. It won't be 24 hours a day football - that's not what it is. You look at how people enjoy it and make the most of it."

The tournament will start with the opening round of Masters group games on the evening of Friday, May 23rd. Main group matches and the remaining Masters group games are held on the Saturday between 9am and 8.15pm before the knockout rounds take place on the Sunday (8am - 7.30pm).

Entry is free on the Friday evening, while tickets for the weekend are HK$160 per day or HK$300 for a two-day pass, and are available at www.cityline.com.

Throughout the tournament, nufc.co.uk, nufcTV and our official Twitter account, @NUFC, will provide unrivalled coverage of Newcastle United in Hong Kong