The Hong Kong Football Association are still on the lookout for a new coach for next month's qualifying tournament for the East Asian Championships in Macau.
Chairman Martin Hong Po-kui, however, said yesterday the association were still pondering a number of options, and hope to name the coach soon.
'All I can say at this stage is we are looking for a local candidate to take charge of the Hong Kong team,' said Hong, who officiated at a summer football development programme yesterday.
'The squad will not gather until the season ends in two weeks and we should be able to name the coach by then.'
Hong said they preferred to appoint someone who was not a coach of a local club to avoid a conflict of interest, but he admitted there were not too many options.
The coaching job has been left open since November when Lai Sun-cheung quit the post after Hong Kong failed to make it into the 2007 Asian Cup finals.
The outgoing Lai then suggested a number of young coaches such as Lee Kin-wo, Lo Kai-wah and Tam Siu-wai to take over the job.
Hong also added that they were still sorting out with individual clubs the availability of foreign-born players such as Cristiano Cordeiro and Gerard Ambassa Guy for the qualifiers. The two are key members of the SAR team, but they normally leave Hong Kong for vacation during the off-season.
Meanwhile, striker Chan Siu-ki of Kitchee and Happy Valley defender Shum Kwok-keung have been recalled to the under-23 side as Hong Kong prepare for their home match against Japan in the Asia/Oceania zone 2008 Olympic Games qualifying tournament on May 16.
Both players missed the last match when Hong Kong beat Malaysia 1-0 away.