Wellington Phoenix will face English Premier League side Aston Villa in group play in Hong Kong FC’s Citibank Soccer Sevens Tournament in May.
Playing for the first time in the competition, the Phoenix will face five times winners Aston Villa in a tough introduction.
Also in the group will be Hong Kong Football Club and a team from the Hong Kong Premier League to be confirmed.
Phoenix General Manager David Dome said the Club was looking forward to taking on more English Premier League opposition.
“We’re super excited about taking a young team as part of the Huawei Hong Kong tour and playing Aston Villa in May next year.
“This will be the third EPL side we have faced in under 12 months following on from the Football United Tour which is tremendous exposure for us as a Club.
“Aston Villa are renown developing some outstanding young players and Jack Grealish, now playing in the first team at Villa, has in the past starred for them at this tournament.
“We’ll be taking a mix of young players from our Academy, the Premiers and the first team squad.
“It won’t be easy for our young players taking on some quality opposition but how great will this be to measure our youth players against some of the best youth players in the world?”
“We’re very proud to represent Wellington, New Zealand and the Hyundai A-League in Asia for this exciting tournament.”
Other notable Clubs participating this year include current Spanish champions Atletico Madrid, Football United Tour participants Newcastle and West Ham United, and English Premier League side Stoke City.
The Hong Kong Sevens tournament runs from May 29 to 31 at the Hong Kong Football Club.
Hong Kong FC Citibank Soccer Sevens, Hong Kong Football Club; May 29-31, 2015
Group A Highlight(s)
Newcastle United (ENG) Cup champions 2012; Cup runners-up 2013
Leicester City (ENG) Cup champions 2013; Shield champions 2012
HK Premier League 1 (HKG)
Singapore Cricket Club (SIN) Plate runners-up 2011
Group B Highlight(s)
West Ham United (ENG) Plate champions 2012
Kitchee (HKG) Cup champions 2011; Cup runners-up 2014
Shanghai SIPG (CHN) Tournament debut
HKFC Captain’s Select (HKG) Plate champions 2011
Group C Highlight(s)
Aston Villa (ENG) Cup champions 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2010
Wellington Phoenix (NZL) Tournament debut
HK Premier League 2 (HKG)
Hong Kong Football Club (HKG) Plate runners-up 2012
Group D Highlight(s)
Stoke City (ENG) Tournament debut
Atletico Madrid (SPA) Tournament debut
HKFA U-20 (HKG) Cup quarter-finals 2014
Yau Yee League Select (HKG) Plate runners-up 2010
Note: Shield is contested by four losing teams from the Cup quarter-finals; Plate is contested by the bottom eight sides after the group stage