New coach promises new style

PUBLISHED : Friday, 17 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 17 July, 2009, 12:00am

South Korean Kim Pan-gon yesterday promised to introduce a new style of football for Hong Kong's Asian Cup qualifying round match against Japan in October.

The South China coach is to take over the top job, replacing Goran Paulic, whose contract has not been renewed.

'The appointment is not yet confirmed, but I have heard about it,' said Kim (pictured), who led South China's first training session of the new season at Sai Cho Wan Sports Ground yesterday.

'I have never coached at the national level, but it would be a great honour and I will do my best to get better results for Hong Kong.'

The Hong Kong team are preparing for the 2011 Asian Cup qualifiers. They have already lost the first two group matches under Paulic - against Bahrain at home and away to Yemen - and face Japan in an away match in October.

'It will be a great challenge against a big football country like Japan. Although we may not win, we need to show a change of style in Hong Kong football,' said Kim.

South China, the league champions of the past three seasons, form almost the equivalent of the Hong Kong team after securing several Hong Kong team players in the close season.

The new arrivals include Gerard Ambassa Guy, Leung Chun-pong and Chao Pengfei, all from Happy Valley, and Footballer of the Year Lee Wai-lim, from Tai Po.

'I have the best players in town but it doesn't mean we will automatically win all the domestic titles,' said Kim. 'We still have a lot of hard work to do. After all, our first priority is the AFC Cup and our target is to reach the Cup final.'

South China will test their squad against Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur at Hong Kong Stadium on August 2 before representing Hong Kong in the East Asian Championship qualifiers in Taiwan. They will then meet Neftchi of Uzbekistan in the AFC Cup quarter-finals, with the away match at Fergana Stadium on September 15, before returning home for the second leg.