PETER Leung Shou-chi is returning to Eastern just a month after quitting as team manager.
Leung has agreed to return as assistant to the club's new convenor Bruce Mok Bong-tung.
The league championship-winning side broke up after Leung and major sponsor - the Lai Sun Group - announced they were quitting just hours after Eastern's 3-0 defeat by Rangers in the FA Cup final.
However, Leung has been helping club president Lam Kin-ming build a new squad.
Mok said yesterday that Leung would be with the club until October - after their first-round clash against J.Leaguers Verdy Kawasaki in the 15th Asian Club Championship.
'Of course, we want Peter to stay with us longer but he said he had to think about it,' said Mok, the former South China convenor. 'We don't want to push him too hard since he has announced his retirement from local football.' Mok's move to Eastern was also arranged by Leung.
'Peter told me he did not want to see Eastern fall to pieces. So he has been trying very hard to get good sponsors and players for the club.
'The first two months of the new season will be very important to us. We'll play against the Hong Kong League XI in the Aw Hoe Cup, the President's Cup, the opening league match against South China and the Asian Club Championship.
'We don't want to start the season badly. We need Peter there because he has been with the team for so many years and he knows the players best.' Leung was not available for comment yesterday as he is on holiday in Singapore.
But before flying off to the Lion City, Leung persuaded Australian winger Ross Greer to sign a new deal with Eastern and is hopeful of landing former Kitchee striker Paul Foster.