Hong Kong’s Playmaker Lam Ka Wai
(Photo from Lam Ka Wai’s Facebook) Having won the Hong Kong 1st Division League title for the past 2 seasons with Kitchee SC and represented Hong Kong National Team since he was 20 years old, Lam
(Photo from Lam Ka Wai’s Facebook)
Having won the Hong Kong 1st Division League title for the past 2 seasons with Kitchee SC and represented Hong Kong National Team since he was 20 years old, Lam Ka Wai is living a football dream where many Hong Kong youngster can only dream of. So what makes him so special for the Hong Kong National Football Team? How he feels about playing against Barcelona? And his thought on the winning goal which he scored against Singapore. Junpiter Futbol flew to Hong Kong to catch up with this latest football sensation while he shares with you what is his football.
HONG KONG FOOTBALL
JPF: Kitchee SC has been crowned Hong Kong League Champion for the past
few years. Tell us more about that.
LKW: Kitchee has been improving for the past 2 years under our Spanish coach, Josep Gombau. He instilled the typical Barcelona’s style of passing game and a 4-3-3 formation into the team. Unlike previous local coaches, the play was always very defensive such as using a formation of 4-5-1 and etc. Because of this new style and exposure, Hong Kong National Team (NT) now has a pool of better players these days.
JPF: How is your daily football training like?
LKW: As Kitchee does not have its own dedicated stadium, all the training sessions’ timings are based on the availability of the public stadium. Generally the training sessions are held in the late morning for 2 hours. During pre-season, other than the usual daily training, we do weight training 1-2 times a week.
JPF: Able to tell us more about Hong Kong League?
LKW: The resources are limited in our professional league. One of the biggest challenges is the availability of the stadium – the teams share one stadium. Only South China team (the most supported club in Hong Kong League) has their own dedicated training ground.
JPF: Able to share with us on Hong Kong football culture?
LKW: We have a lot of public football courts. To be precise, they are actually hard courts. Perhaps that is one of our Hong Kong’s unique football cultures. You find young players play hard courts more often than on a proper football grass pitch. Typically, people will just gather in the evening and form teams to play on these public hard courts. I, myself, grew up playing on hard courts. However, as Hong Kong is constantly developing and progressing, the public hard courts are slowly diminishing and harder to find. They are getting lesser by the day, unlike the Eighties.
Professional teams will also hold annual football trial to recruit young players too. To allow the young players to progress professionally, Kitchee SC collaborated with a local school where the young players received not only football training but academic education too.
(Photo from Lam Ka Wai’s Facebook)
HONG KONG NATIONAL TEAM
JPF: What do you think are your strengths which gave you a place in the Hong Kong National Team?
LKW: Other than being a team player, I think it’s my creativity. Honestly, I am not a very skilled player but I do understand my position and role well. In our current Hong Kong football scene, there isn’t much such players with similar traits and I think that is the reason why I managed to secure a place in the NT.
JPF: As a key member of Hong Kong National Team, is there a target set by HKFA (Hong Kong Football Association) for the next coming few years?
LKW: Nothing major that I know of but our newly appointed NT’s coach, Ernest Merrick, has shared with us that he wants to improve Hong Kong’s world-ranking position; target top100 position. The FA has been stealthily arranging plenty of friendlies in the coming months for this advancement.
JPF: You are named the Shunsuke Nakamura (Former Celtics and Japan’s midfielder) of Hong Kong National Team, how does this compliment come about and how do you feel about that?
LKW: Well, it’s actually a misunderstanding. I am not named as the Nakamura of Hong Kong National Team. Personally, I am a great admirer of Nakamura.
People say that probably because I share some similarities with Nakamura. Both Nakamura and I play the same centre midfield position and we are both left-legged!
HONG KONG VS SINGAPORE
JPF: You scored the winning goal against Singapore in the friendly back in June 2012, how did you feel about that goal?
LKW: I was delighted! Actually as a centre midfielder, I seldom score a lot of goals in my career. So when I scored against Singapore, I was really happy especially when it was a winning goal. Furthermore, that was the first game under our new coach. Every player wanted to impress him. I hope I had impressed him with that goal I scored!
JPF: Which Singapore player left you with the deepest impression during the Hong Kong vs Singapore friendly?
LKW: Singapore’s number-9 (Aleksander Duric) and number-11 (Agu Casmir). Especially that number-11 (Agu Casmir), he could hold the ball very well but I felt that it was a pity that he did not have much support whenever he had the ball up front.
JPF: Prior to that game against Singapore, did you know anything about Singapore football?
LKW: Honestly, I did not know much about Singapore football except the fact that S-League teams comprises players from different nationalities like French, Japanese, Chinese and etc. I had played against S-League teams in the Singapore Cup and AFC Cup, they were rather strong!
JPF: Which is the football club you dream of playing for?
LKW: Barcelona lah! That is the best team in the world!
JPF: Who is your favorite player?
LKW: I like David Silva from Spain & Manchester City. Because both of us are left-legged and I think he is one of the world’s best players.
JPF: Who were some of the big names you have played against?
LKW: There are actually a lot. I played against Ronaldinho when he was here with Brazil for a friendly with Hong Kong. I also had the opportunity to play against one of my personal favorites, Shunsuke Nakamura of Japan, when HongKong lost 0-6 to Japan!
JPF: Would you ever thought of plying your trade in the S-League?
LKW: I won’t rule out any possibility but it depends on the offer.
JPF: Any advice for the young players out there who inspires to be a professional
footballer like you?
LKW: Self-confidence. Even when I was playing against a big team such as Barcelona, I was not afraid to take the game to them. If you play with confidence, naturally you will be able to perform and will be able to play a good game.