Yuen Long plea to fans on return to top flight
Newly promoted Yuen Long hope to build a strong fan base as they make a return to the top flight for the first time in more than three decades.
The New Territories side were last seen in the First Division in 1979, but were then disbanded.
And as the Second Division champions, they are now back among the big boys with the target of establishing themselves as a strong district team.
"It's important to gain the support of the fans, especially in our first year back in the First Division," club chairman Wilson Wong Wai-shun said yesterday.
"Yuen Long are a district club and we want to build a team that can share the joy of soccer with our fans.
"There will be promotions through schools as well as the rural communities and hopefully we can attract at least 1,000 fans for each of our home matches at Yuen Long Stadium."
The 5,000-seat venue was used by Pegasus over the past couple of seasons, but with Yuen Long making a comeback, they have been given the facility.
"Pegasus are more a commercial team but we will be a team for our community - something for Yuen Long people to cheer for," said Wong.
The newcomers will have a budget of just HK$6 million, a small amount compared with big spenders like South China, Kitchee or Eastern.
"We don't have any big names in the squad but I believe if each individual player can perform his role, we can be competitive," coach Chan Ho-yin said.
The team have five foreign players, including Fabio Alcantara, who notched 35 goals last season. The other expatriates - Gustavo da Silva, Cedomir Mijanovic, Sandro and Wellingsson de Souza- also have playing experience in Hong Kong.