New-look Pegasus aiming to fly high again
League runners-up TSW Pegasus will play under the name of Sun Pegasus next season after securing a new sponsor and undergoing a team and management shake-up.
Team officials set a season target of a top-three league finish and at least one cup title when the side started their pre-season training at Shek Kip Mei Sports Ground yesterday.
'We are happy to have secured a new sponsor, which means we can maintain a strong challenge,' said team manager Chan Chi-hong, who left South China after spending 15 years there as a player and a coach to take up the new post. 'The team have gone through major restructuring with the departure of several key players but there is no shortage of confidence in the new side.
'We have brought in some quality foreigners, such as Sandro, who was Rangers' top scorer of last season, and Xu Deshuai from South China. There will also be two new Brazilians and if they blend in well, no one can underestimate us.'
Chan will be assisted by Chan Ho-yin who also left South China to become Pegasus' new coach.
New sponsor Sun International Resources, which is listed on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong GEM board, has set a budget of HK$10 million for the new season.
'They are very keen on junior development but now they want to support a First Division club able to compete against top clubs,' said Chan. 'Kitchee and South China remain the two strongest sides, but we will be able to mount a strong challenge.'
Only seven players from last season's team that reached two cup finals are retained, including key players Ng Wai-chiu (centreback), Jaimes McKee (striker) and Mbome Mbende (midfielder).
Big names who have left are skipper Manoel Silva, prolific striker Leandro Silva, speedy forward Godfred Karikari, Hong Kong internationals Lee Hong-lim, Cheung Kin-fung and Lau Nim-yat.
Ng, who has been appointed captain, admitted they had been weakened by the departures but said there is no point in looking back.
'The team have undergone some big changes, but it doesn't mean we can't be as strong as before,' said the captain. 'We have some new good players, including some promising youngsters, and they should be able bring more energy to the side.
'If we can work well as a unit, we will fear no one.'