Rich benefactor vows to help Sha Tin reach top

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 29 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 29 August, 2007, 12:00am

District team Sha Tin have launched a three-year plan to make it into the First Division with the support of financier Lam Tai-fai.

Lam, who was previously with Rangers and Happy Valley, has promised to inject HK$1 million per year into the club, who are currently in the Third Division.

'Our target is not only to get promotion to the First Division, but also help develop district football in Sha Tin,' said Lam. 'I have long involvement in local football and I am very happy to be able to offer some help.'

Former Hong Kong team captain Lee Wai-man, who quit Happy Valley this summer, will join Sha Tin as player/coach and will be assisted by another former Valley player - Kwok Yue-hung, who played for Kitchee last season. Tong Kin-man, who was with Valley last season, has also decided to join the Third Division side.

'With the help of these players and a couple of youngsters being blooded from the district, I am confident we can become a force to be reckoned with in the new season,' said Lam.

The textile businessman has recruited six young players from the Lam Tai Fai College, a secondary school established by the Lam Tai Fai Charitable Foundation.

The school is one of the few in Hong Kong which offers a curriculum that includes programmes in sports science and recreational management.

He also supported Second Division side Shek Kip Mei last year, but quit midway through the season, after what is believed to have been differences with the management.

Shek Kip Mei were eventually promoted to the First Division and have changed their name to Workable.

Meanwhile Eastern, another of the teams joining the top flight this season, have approached utility player Fladimir Freitas, formerly of Sun Hei, to strengthen their squad.