Photo Credit: Casual Football Network Website
Whilst trudging up and down the pitch, perpetually suffering on the inside, I made one peculiar observation; despite seemingly playing with a team of strangers, people knew each other on a first name basis. Everyone was a regular, and it’s easy to understand why.
Started in 2009, Casual Football Network (CFN) has amassed an “on-going active player base of over 300 players”, offering the perfect opportunity for expats and locals alike to unwind and play a game of football after a stressful day at the office for a nominal fee (usually around HKD$60-70).
Impressively, Casual Football Network is able to host both futsal and 11-a-side matches daily, whilst offering 8-a-side on occasions. Its futsal matches are played in Sheung Wan, whilst the venue for their larger meetups are located in Happy Valley,
However, do not be fooled by the word ‘casual’ - a majority of the participants are capable of producing a high standard of football and if you lack fitness, you will struggle (like myself).
Although I played relatively poorly following my 6-month injury lay-off from football, everyone was very warm and welcoming with rarely any hostility shown towards mistakes. Moreover, there was never any palpable tension nor aggressiveness that one would encounter during a match of competitive football on the weekend.
Having now competed in the CFN’s 11-a-side matches but also their smaller 8-a-side games, I can genuinely say that the participation fee is worth every penny. Well organised, easy-going atmosphere and good football- what more could you ask for?
At the end of the day, CFN is perfect for anyone that wants to have a fun stress-free time, away from the constraints of competitive weekend football. It is clear to see how it has managed to attract such a strong and loyal following among the local footballing community.
Moreover, It's easy to get involved- simply sign up via Facebook or create an account on their user-friendly site and you're pretty much good to go!