Valley go cold on Cheng's demands

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 July, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 July, 2002, 12:00am

Former league champions Happy Valley have ended their bid to sign talented striker Ricky Cheng Siu-chung, who remains clubless in his adopted country Costa Rica. Happy Valley manager Lim Fong Kee said the club were no longer interested in signing the one-time Hong Kong Footballer of the Year because of his high wage demands and his inconsistent form.

'What Ricky was asking was too much for us and he hasn't been in great form these past few seasons. We won't pursue the matter any more,' said Lim.

Cheng, who last season was beset by poor form and injuries, first played for Happy Valley in his 'comeback' year as a 23-year-old when he returned to the SAR having spent most of his youth in Costa Rica.

Cheng, who turns 30 in September and was released by South China last season, is most likely to stay in Costa Rica and seek employment as there are no other Hong Kong clubs interested in signing him.

Cheng, a former Costa Rican youth international, also knows only too well that Hong Kong's wages have tumbled as fans continue to stay away from matches.

Happy Valley have made two signings, however, in Double Flowers defender Leung Shing-kit and Rangers' midfielder Lee Chun-yip, who could help the former champions in their quest for silverware. Valley failed to win a single trophy last season. 'Our coach Wong Yiu-shun suggested that these players could help the club in a big way and they are good signings. Leung and Lee are both very experienced players who have played in the First Division for a long time,' said Lim.

Meanwhile, league champions Sun Hei have scored a minor coup by signing former Hong Kong Footballer of the Year Tam Siu-wai from Rangers. Tam, 32, who was at one time Hong Kong's highest-paid footballer, scored just four goals in Rangers' disappointing campaign in an injury-wrecked season.




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