HKFA is not looking for a quick fixer, leung says
Hong Kong will not be looking for a leading club manager, but rather someone with a strong background in coach education as candidates for the national team manager arrive for interviews this week.
Rather than a 'quick fix' candidate, it is believed someone with the qualities to help shape the foundation of the sport in Hong Kong will be given preference.
'Even if we bring in a top club coach, it will be difficult for him to make overnight improvements of the Hong Kong team because of the current standard of our players. We all know there is no quick fix,' said Hong Kong Football Association chairman Brain Leung Hung-tak (pictured), who heads a five-member panel for the selection process.
'Many of the famous club coaches have good connections so they can buy good players to strengthen club sides, but this is not the case for Hong Kong.
'We, instead, need a coach who has deep knowledge of the sport and can pass his skills and experience to local coaches in order to lay down a strong foundation for overall soccer development in Hong Kong, from the grass roots to international level.
'Once that foundation has been built, our game standard can improve level by level and in the end benefit the Hong Kong team.'
Under the Phoenix Project, the government is offering financial assistance to the association for the position, which is estimated to have an annual remuneration package of HK$2 million to HK$3 million. A chief executive will also be recruited.
The first candidate, who has experience with the Football Association, will arrive from England next week and will be invited to watch the Hong Kong team practice on the eve of their departure for the Long Teng Cup in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
The four-team tournament, also featuring the Philippines, Macau and the hosts, kicks off on Friday as Hong Kong attempt to improve their world ranking. They are now 155th in the standings, one place above their worst position recorded in November 2008.
Meanwhile, Godfred Karikari scored a hat-trick for TSW Pegasus as they thrashed home team Sham Shui Po 4-0 in the BMA First Division yesterday. Manoel Santos got the other. The only team with a 100 per cent record after three games Pegasus remain on top before they meet rivals Kitchee in the Senior Shield first round next week.
'The team spirit is high and we want to make use of it to crack Kitchee in the cup tie,' Pegasus coach Chan Hiu-ming said. 'We are more balanced in both defence and attack compared with last season, with healthy competition among the players in different positions.'
At Tsing Yi Sports Ground, Biu Chun Rangers upset visitors Wofoo Tai Po 4-1 for their first win of the season. Goals from Sandro, Chak Ting-fung and Chao Pengfei gave Rangers a three-goal cushion in the first half. Ye Jie pulled one back for Tai Po with a penalty after the break before Guy Nke Ondoua sealed the victory.