[Updated: 6 August 2016] With several weeks to go before the 2016/17 Premier League season kicks off in late August, the clubs have already announced their preference for their home grounds. While for district-related teams there is always an obvious choice to make, the current mode of selection has been quite controversial.
The local football community is in shock: 2015/16 Hong Kong Premier League champion Eastern SC, which earned worldwide fame with Chan Yuen Ting being the first title-winning female head coach of a men’s team, just made a major announcement that lays out a dark future for the former powerhouse.
LATEST UPDATE (July 17th):
27-year-old defender Tsang Chiu Kit becomes head coach of Yuen Long. The young coach will direct a squad which will be definitely among the youngest in the league, currently boasting an age average of 24.6. New signings include Brazilian centre forward Diego Higino, defensive midfielder Teko (Jeveson Jose dos Santos) and Kitchee’s Ngan Lok Fung (on loan).
- Kitchee announced a major revamp for their team, but continue their hiring strategy with foreign aids from Spain. While Jordi Tarres and Nando Recio will leave on loan to other teams, the management signed two new Spanish players: Centre forward Marcos de la Espada and centre back Pau Bosch. Some other Kitchee players will represent other Premier League clubs on loan: Christian Annan and Emmet Wan will join Pegasus FC, Ngan Lok Fung will strengthen the Yuen Long squad.
- Reigning champion Eastern Sports Club sign former La Liga player Mikel Arruabarrena from SD Eibar (free transfer). Other newcomers for Eastern include Josh Mitchell, Jaimes McKee and Leung Chun Pong.
|Mikel Arrubarrena||FW||ESP||33||SD Eibar||Eastern|
|Leung Chun Pong||CMF||HKG||29||South China||Eastern|
|Marcos de la Espada||CFW||ESP||30||Gimnastic||Kitchee|
|Pau Bosch||CB||ESP||28||Lleida Esportiu||Kitchee|
|Lam Zhi Gin||RMF||GER/HKG||25||Greuter Fürth||Kitchee|
|Sebastian Buddle||FW||HKG||16||Kitchee Res||Kitchee|
|Barak Braunshatain||MF||HKG||17||Kitchee Res||Kitchee|
|Robert Stamp||FW||HKG||16||Kitchee Res||Kitchee|
|Mark Swainston||MF||HKG||16||Kitchee Res||Kitchee|
|Cheung Chi Yung||CB||HKG||27||South China||Pegasus|
|Leung Kwok Wai||CB||HKG||30||Dreams||Pegasus|
|To Chun Kiu||GK||HKG||22||Dreams||Pegasus|
|Chung Wai Keung||RMF||HKG||20||Dreams||Pegasus|
|Lai Lok Yin||LMF||HKG||20||Dreams||Pegasus|
|Siu Chun Ming||MF||HKG||20||Dreams||Pegasus|
|Leong Ka Hang||CFW||MAC||23||Tai Po||Pegasus|
|Christian Annan||LMF||HKG||38||Kitchee||Pegasus (loan)|
|Leung Kwun Chung||CB||HKG||24||Pegasus||South China|
|Leung Nok Hang||CB||HKG||21||Pegasus||South China|
|Hui Wang Fung||FW||HKG||22||Rangers||Southern|
|Lau Hok Ming||CB||HKG||20||Dreams||Southern|
|Pang Chiu Yin||DF||HKG||19||Happy Valley||Yuen Long|
|Wong Tsz Chung||GK||HKG||21||Pegasus||Yuen Long|
|Yu Wai Lim||DF||HKG||17||Tai Po||Yuen Long|
|Wong Yim Kwan||RMF||HKG||23||Eastern District||Yuen Long|
|Diego Higino||CFW||BRA||29||Conquista-BA||Yuen Long|
|Lau Ho Lam||DM||HKG||23||Eastern||Yuen Long|
|Pang Tsz Kin||GK||HKG||29||Dreams||Yuen Long|
|Ngan Lok Fung||CM||HKG||23||Kitchee||Yuen Long (loan)|
|Felix Borja||FW||ECU||33||South China||?|
|Kim Tae Min||CB||KOR||34||Kitchee||?|
|Jordi Tarres||CFW||ESP||35||Kitchee||? (loan)|
|Fernando Recio||CB||ESP||32||Kitchee||? (loan)|
|Pablo Gallardo||CB||ESP||30||Dreams||Atletico de Kolkata|
|Gao Wen||CMF||HKG||31||Kitchee||Career end|
On July 30th South China will host star-struck Serie A side Juventus Turin in Hong Kong Stadium in a pre-season friendly. By now it is still not known by whom exactly the “Old Lady” will be represented that night, as quite a few players are still entitled to their extended holidays after the European Championship in France, but we have been visiting Tin Hau temple every day now to pray for an appearance of Italian national team
semi-god goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon. Who would you include in your prayers?