Gary White names preliminary Hong Kong squad for crucial EAFF play-off against Taiwan, North Korea and Mongolia
- Largely unchanged squad builds heavily from Eastern and Kitchee
- Six China-based players in line for coach’s competitive bow against former team
Hong Kong coach Gary White has announced his 30-man preliminary squad ahead of his first competitive games in charge.
The representative team will play Mongolia, North Korea and hosts Taiwan in November as they look to take the remaining place in the East Asian Football Federation championship in South Korea next year.
Oxford United’s Dai Wai-tsun, better known as Tsun Dai, returns to the fold after missing out on the games against Thailand and Indonesia as he was returning from injury.
He is one of nine players from outside of the Hong Kong Premier League, along with Brian Fok, who also missed out last time as his Portuguese club would not release him.
White has picked six China-based players alongside Sandro of Indonesian side PSM Massakar, who is also included.
While league leaders Southern provide only one player, second placed Eastern provide seven players of this initial squad while last season’s HKPL champions Kitchee provide the second largest contingent of players with five.
The 30-man preliminary squad for HK Team for the EAFF Cup in Nov in Taipei! Tsun Dai's called up though he joined China U21 for a training camp last last month, the choice is in his hand! pic.twitter.com/F9u56bqq5f
— christie leung (@christie_1122) 24 October 2018
Kitchee have dropped more points in four games this season than they did all of last’s title winning campaign.
While Eastern’s Yue Taz-nam, who was a surprise 11th-hour call up to the last squad, has retained his spot, there is no place for previous regulars Jack Sealy, Jean-Jacques Kilama and Jordi.
Hosts South Korea, Japan and China automatically qualified for the four-team tournament next year.
White will announce his final squad for the EAFF after the sixth round of the Hong Kong Premier League concludes on November 4.
The team will then assemble for training camp from Monday November 5 before departing for Taipei on Friday November 9.
Hong Kong play White’s former team Taiwan on November 11, North Korea on November 13 and Mongolia on the 16th. The winner of the four team play-off goes on to the finals.
The full squad is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Chan Ka-ho (Yuen Long), YappHung-fai (Eastern), Wang Zhenpeng (Kitchee),Yuen Ho-chun (Lee Man)
Defenders: Brian Fok (Académico de Viseu Futebol Clube), Cheng King-ho, Tsang Kam-to,
Wong Tsz-ho (Eastern), Festus Baise (Guizhou Hengfeng),
Daniel Cancela, Fernando, Tong Kin-man (Kitchee), Lau Hok-ming (KC Southern), Andrew Russell (Liaoning Whowin), Tsui Wang-kit (Meizhou Hakka), Leung Nok-hang (R&F)
Midfielders: Leung Chun-pong, Xu Deshuai, Yue Tze-nam (Eastern), Huang Yang (Kitchee), Dai Wai-tsun (Oxford United), Tan Chun-lok (R&F), Chung Wai-keung, Lee Ka-yiu, Wong Wai (Tai Po)
Forwards: Jaimes McKee (Eastern), Sandro (PSM Makassar), Giovane da Silva (R&F), Paul Ngue (Xinjiang Tianshan Leopard), Alex Akande (Yanbian Funde)