Ban rules Bullen out of Caroliners league opener
SCOTTISH striker Lee Bullen will miss his first league soccer match with South China through suspension.
Bullen has been given a one-match suspension by the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) disciplinary committee following his last season with Golden.
He will not feature in the Caroliners' first match, against arch-rivals Instant-Dict on September 7 at the Hong Kong Stadium.
But Bullen will be able to play for South China in the pre-season Aw Hoe Cup against the League XI because the suspension does not cover exhibition matches.
The Dickies will also be unable to field their strongest side in the September 7 match because their Bulgarian defender, Dimitre Kalkanov, and right-back Keung Heung-fai are also serving suspensions.
The pair were sent off during the FA Cup final on June 1, when Sing Tao were defeated 2-1.
Kalkanov is suspended for one match, while Keung has to serve a two-match ban.
Defender Neil Armour and forward Hu Jianfeng of Yee Hope, Happy Valley defenders Yan Lik-kin and Lam Hiu-fung, and Dutchman Marlon van der Sander of Sing Tao will all miss their first league matches while serving one-game bans.
Meanwhile, the HKFA has pencilled in dates for the controversial physical fitness tests. South China will take the test on August 12, Sing Tao and Five-One-Seven on August 21, Uhlsport-Rangers and Yee Hope on August 22, Happy Valley and Golden on August 23, and Instant-Dict on August 26.
All First Division players, except goalkeepers, have to run at least 3,000 metres in 12 minutes before they can register with the HKFA.
Newly promoted Five-One-Seven have signed four Australian players to strengthen their squad.
The players - striker Gregory Thomas, 21, midfielder Christian Rasmus, 18, libero Andrew Clark, 22, and goalkeeper Graeme White 19 - are all playing in the State Super League in New South Wales.