傑志公佈已落實從2022-23球季起，參與著名西班牙教練甘巴爾統籌的「全球青年精英足球計劃」。該計劃每年會在世界各地招募約三十名精英青年球員，安排到西班牙安普斯特市（Amposta）的依比利高水平體育中心（Terres de l'Ebre Sports High Performance Centre）接受特訓。傑志會每年選派若干青年球員參與，目標之一是將他們借用予西班牙球會，為期一年，成為他們在職業足球生涯上，登上更高層次的「踏腳石」。
Kitchee announced that the Club will participate in a youth internship programme for youth elite players starting in the 2022-23 season. This programme, organised by Kitchee former head coach Josep Gombau, will recruit around 30 youth elite players around the globe each year. The players will train intensively at the Terres de l'Ebre Sports High Performance Centre in Amposta, Spain. Kitchee has nominated three players to participate in the programme for the 2022-2023 season. It is the programme objective they secure a loan contract to a Spanish club, taking a major step towards their development in professional football.
The first group of participants from Kitchee includes Shinichi Chan (born in 2002), Ellison Tsang Yi Hang and Chen Ngo Hin (born in 2003). They will travel with the team to Thailand on 10th March for the 2022 ACL Group Stage before leaving for Spain in early May. They will train with some Spanish local clubs and have a brief experience of the living environment before returning Hong Kong in mid-May. If successful in May, they will return to Spain in August to their respective clubs to start their 1-year loan contract.
Josep Gombau managed Kitchee in 2009-2013 and won the league twice, including the treble in 2012.
Through the Spaniard’s recruitment programme, the players will adapt a standard training schedule where they will spend time in learning the language, football concepts and cultural classes in the morning. Training sessions with local clubs will be followed in the afternoon and they will play for their respective teams during the weekend.
During the interview, Shinichi Chan is excited about the opportunity. “I had a trial invitation from a Croatian club last year, but it didn’t work out in the end because of the pandemic. I’m excited for this chance to go to Europe again and it will be a remarkable experience regardless of the result.”
Leung Chi Wing, Kitchee’s Technical Director, managed Ellison Tsang and Chen Ngo Hin during their youth team years. The duo’s ball control and decision-making made a strong impression on him. “They play in different positions, but they both excel in decision-making while holding the ball.”
The three players joined Kitchee under different circumstances. Shinichi Chan was scouted by the Club at the age of 15 and soon joined the First Team.
Centre-back Ellison Tsang is “made in Kitchee”, joining the Club at the age of 6. He represented Kitchee in Spanish tournaments on 4 occasions, including the Mediterranean International Cup and Torneig Internacional Terres de l'Ebre.
Midfielder Chen Ngo Hin joined Kitchee U16 in 2018. His partnership with Ellison Tsang in last season’s Hong Kong Premier Youth League U18 has impressed the Club, leading to their promotion to the First Team and a professional debut this season.
Mr. Ken Ng, President of Kitchee Sports Club, was confident in the trio’s abilities to win an offer from Spanish clubs. “The pandemic will not stop Kitchee or Hong Kong football from moving forward as we take this opportunity to give our youth a chance to shine. We aim to formalise and systemise the partnership between Kitchee, Josep Gombau and participating Spanish clubs. We are confident that this partnership will become a crucial part of our youth development, serving as a bridge for our Academy graduates to get a foothold in top-tier professional football. Our best wishes go to Shinichi, Ellison, and Hin as they take this wonderful opportunity to develop as football players and make a great start to this programme.”