Hong Kong football has seen an end of an era as Kim Pan-Gon the South Korean coach in charge of Hong Kong left his position in December 2017. Kim left his job at the end of the year to be put in charge of coach recruitment for the South Korean Under-23 side. Although Kim had success with Hong Kong towards the end fans were left frustrated with his inability to move the side forward and this was seen as banners of 'Kim Out' started to appear at games. 

Kim then left with one game remaining of the Asia Cup qualifiers and Liu Chun Fai (former Hong Kong coach) took charge of the final game against North Korea. He was nevertheless unable to help the side to a win in this game as they lost 2-0. The result meant that Hong Kong would not be travelling to the UAE in 2019 for the Asia Cup. Liu Chun Fai was only in charge for one game and the Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) will now be on the lookout for a permanent coach. 

With no meaningful games now for nearly a year Hong Kong can take their time appointing a new coach, who that coach will be remains to be seen. The three names that spring to mind are Gary White of Taiwan, Chu Chi Kwong of Kitchee and Jørn Andersen formally of North Korea until last month. 

Let's look at all three first we have Gary White the man who has a habit of turning small nations around. Fans in Taiwan would not be happy about him moving to Hong Kong and it might not be the move for him. Though, with a way of creating teams that compete above their potential, it could be a great choice for the HKFA.

Hong Kong has the aim of getting to the Asia Cup in 2023. This is a real possibility especially with the competition being the first with an increase to 24 teams from 16 qualifying. Although another side note to mention is Gary White will likewise feel he can do this with Taiwan. Gary White as also suggested that he would like to coach in England again so when his adventure is done in Taiwan you feel that could be where he is heading. So despite the positives for Gary White, he would be the outside bet of the three for the management job at Hong Kong. 

Next up then is Chu Chi Kwong the only one of the three to be a Hong Kong national. Appointing a national to the job could be a good start as he knows what needs to be done straight away and will not need to learn about the players. He also has his AFC A coaching license so is more than qualified for the position. Despite his achievements at Kitchee, however, he is still very inexperienced in football management with him being his first job as a manager.

Despite his inexperience, he has done an amazing job with Kitchee in a short space of time winning the league in his season and he should secure his second title in a row with Kitchee in their next league match. On the bigger stage in the Asian Champions League, he has shown he can learn as a manager and improve. 

In his first two games, Kitchee conceded nine goals in the Champions League. After this, in his next three games, they only conceded two showing how he changed things around to improve the side. These are exactly the qualities needed as a coach and with a national side who are not one of the stronger nations in Asia the never say die attitude his Kitchee side showed in beating Kashiwa Reysol is exactly what is needed. 

With the fact he could also stay on with Kitchee for another season this could work as a big plus for him.

Last up is Jørn Andersen and he could already be the choice for the Hong Kong managers job behind closed doors. With Norwegian TV channel TV 2 stating that he could be the new manager at Hong Kong. It was reported that after his North Korea side beat Hong Kong many of the Hong Kong players were seen to be praising him. While Mark Sutcliffe Chief Executive of the HKFA was quoted saying "He (Andersen) seems very professional and has performed miracles with North Korea's national team." this would suggest the HKFA are big fans of his. 

It is still unclear if this is the job that Jørn Andersen will be interested in even if he was approached so time will tell. What is clear however is the future is looking bright and exciting for the Hong Kong national side while Kitchee their top club side are starting to show they can compete against the best club sides in Asia. 

Post a Comment

0 Comments