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Cathay Pacific sponsors Manchester United Soccer Schools RETURN to Hong Kong!

20 Jul 2005

Legend Eric Cantona launches the new programme

Hong Kong 20 July 2005: After the success of last year’s inaugural programme in Hong Kong, Manchester United Soccer Schools (MUSS) and presenting sponsors and official airline Cathay Pacific Airways have announced the return of MUSS to Hong Kong at a press conference held at the Hong Kong Football Club (HKFC).

Charlie Stewart-Cox, General Manager Marketing, Cathay Pacific Airways, the presenting sponsor and official airline, remarked “Cathay Pacific is delighted to continue the sponsorship of MUSS for a second year as part of our commitment to bringing top quality programmes and events to Hong Kong. As part of our sponsorship we will be offering 30 scholarships to the local community for young soccer fans to also benefit from the coaches of the world’s biggest football club”

From October 2005 through to March 2006, MUSS will provide the opportunity for aspiring young soccer players in Hong Kong to work with coaches from one of the world’s biggest football clubs, Manchester United (Man U).

HKFC), one of Asia’s premier sporting clubs, will once again be the venue for the 20-week programme featuring boys and girls between the ages of 8-15. The coaching staff will be headed by former Man U and England full back Mick Duxbury together with MUSS coach Mick Wild from the UK and selected local Hong Kong coaches.

Man U confirmed their long term commitment to MUSS in Hong Kong with the attendance of former captain and player Eric Cantona, together with Manchester United Football Club (MUFC) Academy Director Les Kershaw, MUSS Head Coach John Shiels, MUFC Skills Director Rene Meulensteen and Hong Kong Director of Coaching Mick Duxbury.

The MUSS coaching programme includes both the basic and advanced skills that a youngster would learn if attending the Manchester United Youth Academy. More than 500 children in Hong Kong will benefit from this coaching over the 6 month period.

Commenting on the return to Hong Kong, MUSS head coach John Shiels said: “We are continuing our special relationship with our partners Cathay Pacific and the Hong Kong Football Club to build upon the success of last year and to once again offer the unique skills and technique programme that has been developed at Manchester United”. He went on to say, “Hong Kong is a perfect venue for MUSS and the facilities at HKFC are outstanding. We are delighted with the response from the participants last year and look forward to welcoming both new and old faces to this year’s program”

Eric Cantona echoed these thoughts saying “it is important to have a dream and it is fantastic to see the young players here in Hong Kong having the passion for the game we love so much”

The venue at the HKFC will be fully equipped with MUSS coaching equipment to aid learning and improve the various skills learnt during the programme. As well as receiving expert coaching, participants will each have their progress regularly monitored by specially adapted skills tests. At the end of each course, each participant will receive a certificate and a personalised coaching assessment. The return of MUSS to Hong Kong, offers the participants from the 2004 programme the chance to carry on where they left off from last year while at the same time welcoming children new to the MUSS coaching system. The programme is directed towards improving fundamental football skills with much emphasis based on personal achievement and enjoyment.

Manchester United Manager, Sir Alex Ferguson states: “Here at Manchester United we place great emphasis on our youth players. Through our soccer schools we can take our philosophy on developing young players around the world. We are aware that we enjoy huge support in Hong Kong and due to the success of last year’s programme, it is our pleasure to be returning to Hong Kong to once again help develop Asia’s talent. We believe that the soccer school will provide children –whether fans of Manchester United or not – with the benefit of coaching the Manchester United way”

Application forms for MUSS are now available from: Nike stores, HKFC and are also available on-line by visiting: www.manutdsoccerschools.com

Cathay Pacific frequently sponsors international sport and cultural events in Hong Kong to arouse greater awareness and interest amongst local youth. These include the annual Rugby Sevens in March and the recent Saturday Night Fever Master Class which took place in July that provided excellent opportunities for youth participation.

MUSS Staff:

Mick Duxbury
Qualifications: UEFA B license
As a former Manchester United and England player Mick has gained vast experience on the football pitch. Mick has played 376 times for Manchester United and won 10 caps for England. Mick’s versatility on the pitch allowed him to play in numerous positions including, full-back, sweeper and midfield. For years, Mick has passed on his own experiences of playing for Manchester United and England with the club’s most promising young players at the Manchester United Youth Academy.

Michael Wild
Qualifications: UEFA B license
Michael has worked with Manchester United Soccer Schools for over 6 years across numerous projects both domestically and internationally. He also worked with Bradford City A.F.C co-ordinating the development of the youngest players in the Youth Academy. Michael was a youth player for Rochdale F.C. and began his coaching career at Bury A.F.C Youth Academy. Michael has coached around the world including Europe, Africa, America and in Asia.. Michael is a valued member of the MUSS team and brings with him the ability to coach and communicate with children of all ages and ability levels.

For media enquiries, please contact:
ActionHouse International:
Ms. Harriet Leung 3102 8105 / 6128 6048 or Andy Bratsanos 3102 8107 / 6255 6474
Ms. Kandy Chan, Corp. Comm. Manager-Public Relations, Cathay Pacific Airways 2747 5211

For Booking details, please contact:
The Hong Kong Football Club - MUSS hotline:
Tel: (852) 2837 2660 Fax: (852) 2882 5040
E-mail: muss@hkfc.com

The winners of the skills competition from last year’s programme that was completed in March 2005
Cathay Pacific Airways have announced the return of MUSS to Hong Kong at a press conference held at the Hong Kong Football Club (HKFC).
A coaching clinic hosted by Eric Cantona and Cathay Pacific flight attendant Kimmy Tang.