New South China boss faces friend in fresh start

Carolinas head coach Yeung Ching-kwong is up against old pal Chan Chi-hong in Pegasus clash

PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 February, 2014, 10:57pm
UPDATED : Friday, 21 February, 2014, 11:24pm

Yeung Ching-kwong finds himself in a new position today, his first game as a head coach, but one thing will be familiar for the new South China boss - his counterpart in the next dugout.

Yeung needs to get off to a winning start in the RedMR First Division against Sun Pegasus, who are managed by his old friend, Chan Chi-hong.

"We have known each other for a long, long time, almost 30 years," said Yeung.

"From the days we started training together at the Sports Institute as young kids, we were already good friends and later as professional players and team members at both club and international level, we are still very close. We shared the same room when playing overseas and it's just very special my first match in charge is to play against him."

But friendship will be set to one side for 90 minutes, as Yeung is desperate to get off to a winning start after taking over the reins from outgoing Andy Cheung Po-chun, who quit on Monday.

"This is the first time I've taken charge of a club and, of course, I want to have a good start," said the 37-year-old. Trailing leaders Kitchee by 10 points in the league standings, South China cannot afford to drop any more points - though Pegasus beat them 5-2 in the first game of the season.

"Pressure? Of course there is pressure as we must win to keep our title hopes alive," said Yeung. "Pegasus are not easy to handle as they are one of the top teams and you need to deliver your best to beat them. But I am used to pressure … although I have only been in the job for several days, I know the club and most of the players well and have had little problem settling in."

Yeung said Hong Kong international Chan Siu-ki was likely to regain his starting role up front as former Bosnia international Sasa Kajkut was suffering from a muscle strain in his leg. The two teams met last month in the Senior Shield final when South China came back from behind with a 2-1 victory to lift the trophy.