One group of Palace fans are extremely excited for next week's Premier League Asia Trophy, with the Hong Kong Eagles delighted they'll be able to see their red and blue-clad heroes in their homeland. Here, Rob Saunders of the HK Eagles gives an insight into how they're preparing for the competition.
The long-established CPFC HK Supporters Club has been steadily growing in numbers as more expats have come to Hong Kong. Our longest serving members have been here for over 30 years, and as a typical group of Palace fans we come from all professions. We have a few teachers, some finance professionals, a football coach and a creative agency business owner, as well as a sales and marketing executive and IT professionals.
We are all originally from London and its surrounding areas, apart from Julius who is from Indonesia and got into Palace due to the superb atmosphere generated at Selhurst, and a Kiwi who lived in south London for a while, however that is beginning to change.
As well as the organic growth in numbers due to the profile of the Eagles playing in the Premier League, the profile of the group has been raised further by the club visiting HK for the Premier League Asia Trophy next week, and we know we are very lucky that our beloved club is coming here.
There is a fan event being arranged in conjunction with the club, and we have had several requests from media who are interested in our group. Our Facebook following has jumped from under 25 members to over 50 and we are finding more and more expat fans in HK, plus a few locals who are eschewing the more traditional bigger PL clubs in favour of Palace. When we ask why, the answer is the same: passionate fans in the stadium, and exciting players such as Zaha and Townsend.
It is clear our fabulous club is on the up off the pitch as it is harder to get tickets when we travel back to Selhurst Park, but we always have a way with friends and family locally. If that is the price of success, we would all take it.
Our regular pub, The Dog House, is excited to be hosting the fan event, and have prepared red and blue Dog House balloons for the occasion.
For us ex-pats that only get a few chances to see the team live, the Premier League Asia Trophy is a massive boost for us and will be a great opportunity for more Hong Kong natives to realise why we all love Palace.