STRIKER Anto Grabo withdrew from the territory's squad for tomorrow's 16th Hong Kong-Guangdong Cup only hours after it was announced yesterday. The South China forward, who was one of four overseas players in the original squad of 23, was named in the final pool of 17 players for the two-leg match - at Mongkok Stadium tomorrow and in Guangzhou on January 16. But after consulting with South China officials yesterday afternoon, Grabo decided to pull out and was replaced by Sing Tao midfielder David Clarkson. The starting lineup for tomorrow's game will be announced after a training session at the Hong Kong Sports Institute this morning - and the Hong Kong Football Association will be relieved to see the first leg kick off after weeks of selection turmoil, rounded off by Grabo's late withdrawal yesterday. Although Grabo said he wanted to rest a knee injury until South China's next match on January 23, he was known to be unhappy about the selection procedures and about the tactics that will be employed by coach Chan Hung-ping - based on a defensive, counter-attacking game. ''When I spoke to my bosses at South China they said everything was controlled by Eastern,'' said Grabo. ''I have nothing against the Eastern players at all but everyone knew only three foreign players could play and there were seven in the squad. ''I was very disappointed because they selected seven foreign players instead of picking just three and getting them to work with the local players.'' When the Hong Kong FA announced their original squad of players in November, the 23 names included four overseas players - Eastern goalkeeper Iain Hesford, Clarkson, Grabo and his South China teammate, Niels Gerestein. Hong Kong team manager Lam Kin-ming, who is also the Eastern chairman, was furious when Eastern trio Dale Tempest, Ross Greer and Tim O'Shea were not included and threatened to resign if they were not called up. When four Hong Kong Chinese players withdrew from the original 23 because of injury or unavailability, the team management - led by Lam and assisted by Kui Tan's Benny Tang and Kitchee's Fred Ng - met again and replaced the four with five new recruits, including Tempest, Greer and O'Shea. The South China camp were not happy that overseas players had been called up for local players, especially as only three foreign players could be included. And Instant-Dict threatened to withdraw their players from the squad if they were not happy with the final selection. Of the seven overseas players, Eastern 'keeper Hesford withdrew to rest an inflamed right knee and the four places in the final squad went to Tempest, Greer, O'Shea and Grabo. Hong Kong coach Chan, who is also the coach of Eastern, said his formation would be a defensive 4-5-1, with Tempest as the lone striker, Greer on the left wing and O'Shea playing just in front of the back four. With several players, including Eastern's Lee Wai-man and Tam Siu-wai and Kitchee's Yau Kin-wai, dropping out because of injury, the selectors were able to pick only 17 players. Team manager Lam said: ''There is an understanding with the South China and Instant-Dict management that the selection of players will be decided by the managers of the Hong Kong team. ''There is no rift, otherwise we would not have had such a good turnout for the training sessions. ''Our selection is based on the latest form of the shortlisted players, their attendance at training and whether they are carrying injuries.'' Coach Chan, who is also coach of champions Eastern, added: ''This is the best team available. ''The spirit is okay and they all want to represent Hong Kong.'' Guangdong will include three players from outside the province - striker Su Maojun (Shandong) and defenders Xu Yun (Dalian) and Fan Zhiwei (Shanghai). Squad: Goalkeepers: Chan Sau-yin (Instant-Dict), Chung Ho-yin (Kitchee). Defenders: Chiu Chun-ming (Eastern), Chan Chi-keung (Eastern), Chan Wai-chiu (South China), Yan Lik-kin (Instant-Dict), Ng Chun-chung (Instant-Dict). Midfielders: David Clarkson (Sing Tao), Tim O'Shea (Eastern), Lee Kin-wo (Eastern), Ross Greer (Eastern), Chiu Chung-man (South China), Shum Kwok-pui (South China), Loh Wai-chi (South China), Chan Chi-kwong (Instant-Dict). Strikers: Dale Tempest (Eastern), Au Wai-lun (South China).