Rejected keeper Yapp still dreams of playing abroad
Goalkeeper Yapp Hung-fai put the drama of his aborted move to the China Super League behind him yesterday and looked forward to exploring other overseas playing opportunities.
Yapp, arguably the best home-grown goalkeeper of recent years, had attracted the attention of CSL club Guizhou Renhe, who offered him a four-year contract. However, he subsequently discovered the Chinese Football Association only allows mainland goalkeepers to play in their leagues. As a goalkeeper from Hong Kong, he was therefore ineligible.
The Hong Kong international continued his pre-season preparations with champions South China at Happy Valley yesterday after returning from a week-long training camp in Guangdong with the Caroliners squad.
"I don't think I will play in the mainland," said the 23-year-old.
"It's all history now, but it doesn't mean I won't try to look offshore again. I still want to develop my soccer career in countries with a higher standard."
Yapp is not sure whether he will featured for South China in the match against Manchester City tomorrow.
"Physically I am ready because , but mentally I am not, because my mind has been on Guizhou," he said. "Also, it would be unfair for the existing two goalkeepers [Zhang Chunhui and Tsang Man-fai] as they have been working hard for the Barclays Asia Trophy. In the end, it will be the coach to make the decision."
Coach Cheung Po-chun, meanwhile, said a former South China striker, believed to be Brazilian Leandro Silva, would be returning to play against City.