Lee Man kicked off the preseason training for the 2018-19 campaign on Tuesday, July 17th, at Po Tsui Park in Tseung Kwan O.
Led by new head coach Chan Hiu-ming , the 24-man squad was almost all present, including new foreign players Fran Gonzalez, Crescendo van Berkel, Baek Jihoon, and Alexandre Talento, while Yuen Ho-chun, Yu Wai-lim, Yu Pui-hong, and Cheng Siu-kwan were absent as they are currently with the Hong Kong representative team in preparation for the 2018 Asian Games.
This year, Lee Man brought in new technology which allows coaching staff to monitor players’ fitness and their progress.
Chan Hiu-ming said that the main goal of the season is to finish in the top three in the league, although Lee Man might not have the same budget as Kitchee or Eastern. Nonetheless, it will be a very competitive season as teams are becoming a bit more balanced. Chan seeks to win as many games as possible, including the upcoming friendlies.
However, Lee Man’s vision is rather long-term. Club chairman Norman Lee and Chan have previously discussed that their collaboration will be based on a three-year plan, which will give the coaching staff sufficient time to develop the young players.
With regards to the new foreign players, Lee Man scouted them for almost one month before making their final decision. Besides, Chan is delighted to have last year’s Yuen Long head coach Tsang Chiu-tat to join the staff as assistant coach, as he has proven his ability with his success over the last two seasons. Tsang’s contribution and opinion will be crucial in making Lee Man a better team as the season goes along.
Furthermore, an analytical team has added and coach Lam Hing-lun deals with players’ individual performances. Several physiotherapists have been hired full-time.
The team is set to travel to Kunming and Thailand for preseason training and friendly matches.