Arguably one of the greatest players in the history of Chinese football, central defender Fan Zhiyi, makes his competitive bow in Hong Kong football today. The 34-year-old, who was capped 105 times by his country and led them to their first World Cup finals, will make his league debut as player-coach for Buler Rangers against Sun Hei at the Hong Kong Stadium Fan, whose career took him from Shanghai Shenhua to Crystal Palace, Dundee, Cardiff City and back to Shanghai's Zhongyuan Huili (now known as Inter Shanghai) has taken the step down into Hong Kong football to start his second career as a coach. His wealth of knowledge and experience is likely to be a tremendous boost to Rangers' talented young squad, although goalkeeper Goldbert Chi-chiu warns that he and his teammates might struggle initially to get on to the same level as their illustrious colleague. 'We're worried about the understanding,' admitted the 22-year-old. 'He's played with very good players in England, Scotland and China, but now he's alongside players in their early twenties with not much experience. But he's not just a player - he's a leader.' The Rangers fledglings have already found one of their fears to be unfounded as Goldbert revealed. 'Before he came we thought he would always be angry with us because of our technique or for other mistakes, but he's great,' the young keeper revealed. 'He's serious in training and that helps the other players be serious. We call him dai lo - big brother. He's a nice guy. Sometimes we think he's too nice.' Fan's manner with the Rangers youngsters, who only three weeks ago were mourning the death of their captain Cheung Yiu-lun, also earned praise from team manager Phillip Lee Fai-lap. 'He can bring up the young players. In training he's already made the atmosphere good. When the players have made mistakes in training he has lifted them - cheered them up. He never blames the other players for their mistakes,' Lee explained. The match with Rangers will be an acid test for Sun Hei, who have reeled off three successive wins after losing their season opener to reigning champions Happy Valley. Although Rangers start today bottom, they have only played once this season because of the loss of Cheung and playing commitments with the Hong Kong Olympic team. 'It'll be a very tough game,' insisted Sun Hei coach Koo Luen Khen, who will have to cope without midfielder Tam Siu-wai, who has a twisted ankle. 'They've got a bunch of very, very good young players plus the new signing of Fan Zhi-yi. He used to be a top player and I think he still is. He shouldn't have any problems. The only thing is I don't know how fit he is. It seems he hasn't played for a long time.' The earlier encounter at the Hong Kong Stadium between Kitchee and South China should also be an interesting barometer for the league. Kitchee have been boosted by the arrival of another veteran international, Indonesian Rochi Putiray, who scored twice in their 4-2 win over Nancheng two weeks ago. The former South China striker is sure to pose problems for his old teammates. Meanwhile in Dongguan, league leaders Happy Valley venture across the border again to face Nancheng just a week after losing their 100 per cent record to another Guangdong side, Xiangxue.