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Dear all,

Welcome to the HKDLA, the HK Development League.   The league was initially set up as we wanted to get more game time for the players in our Soccer School, feeling that while they were getting a lot of training time they were not getting the opportunities to then apply that knowledge in real game situations.   As the saying goes, ‘Let the Game be the Teacher.’

From day one I was adamant that we steer the league away from the over competitive nature that often rears its ugly head in youth football with coaches and parents screaming on the touchlines and young players often intimidated by this on the field.   I therefore pushed for ‘development’ over results and the HKDLA has attempted to copy the model in the UK where Academies and Centre’s of Excellence play against each other in a league format but then do not record the results or have a league table and champions.   By taking away the necessity to fight for three points we allow the players equal time on the field and the coach can focus on improving their players rather than worrying about score lines.

Having then shared this idea with other clubs/schools/soccer schools people quickly bought into the idea and the league was formed.   After one year of a boy’s league we then were able to implement a girl’s league.   The concept of all the clubs working together (providing fields, communicating and supporting each other’s programs) is also key to making the league work.   We not only look after our own programs, by playing regularly we also improve the overall standards within HK and try to put some much needed structure on the system.

A year round development league is the way forward for HK football and for all of you who have been part of this process as coaches, players, parents and admin support I thank you all.

Chelsea Football Club Asian Development Manager and HKDLA Concept Founder
Dave Stewart.