Can Hong Kong attract a top quality manager?

February 12, 2019

Photo credit: SCMP 


Since Gary White resigned from his position as Hong Kong’s head coach to join Japanese side Tokyo Verdy last December, there have been many rumours and postulations concerning his replacement.


More importantly, as the EAFF E-1 Football Championship’s final round will occur at the end of this year, the HKFA will be looking quickly to find their next manager.


With that being said, we’ve examined five managers (in no particular order) that could be a perfect fit for the vacant Hong Kong managerial position.


 Photo credit: These Football Times


1. Ian Holloway:


Arguably the most talked about, Ian Holloway recently admitted that he was approached to become Hong Kong’s next manager. 


Known to be very charismatic, the former Crystal Palace and Leicester coach could be considered a great coup for the HKFA given his managerial experience and expertise at the top level of English Football.


However, as it stands, it seems as though negotiations are far from over and for all that we know, Hong Kong could end up with a completely different manager. Nonetheless, the HKFA is showing commendable ambition in their pursuit of such a reputable manager.


Photo credit:  Scoopnest


2. Kevin Bond:


Another manager to declare an interest as Hong Kong’s head coach is none other than Kevin Bond - he most recently guided a Hong Kong league select XI to a respectable third place in the Lunar New Year Cup.


Bond is no stranger to Hong Kong football, having previously managed Pegasus in the Hong Kong Premier League. However, he is probably best known for his tenure as assistant to Harry Redknapp at multiple teams including the likes of Tottenham, but also managed Bournemouth from 2006 to 2008.


Appointing Kevin Bond as the next Hong Kong manager would be a wise choice - he has had an extensive managerial career and knowledge of Hong Kong football. Whether he did enough at the Lunar New Year Cup to convince the HKFA, we’ll just have to find out.


 Photo credit: AS English


3. Sam Allardyce:


Although not linked with the role, Sam Allardyce could be a great choice for the Hong Kong managerial position.


With Hong Kong considered a footballing underdog in comparison to other nations in Asia, ‘Big Sam’ would definitely have the right tools to make Hong Kong a far stronger team than they are now. He has a famous reputation for vastly improving relegation-bound clubs like Bolton and Crystal Palace.


While such an acquisition is highly unlikely for the HKFA, Allardyce has worked with Hong Kong-based private clubs like the HKFC before…


 Photo credit: 9½ Football Youtube


4. Chan Yuen Ting:


Seeing as Chan has just resigned from Eastern, she may not be in the mood to take up a role any time soon. Regardless, her expertise in the Hong Kong football scene makes her a valuable candidate.


Having led Eastern to Hong Kong Premier League champions in her first season - a historic accomplishment that led her to be chosen as one of BBC's 100 Women in 2016, she is unquestionably a talented manager.


Given the fact that she is just at the very start of her managerial career, it is perhaps best that the HKFA look for someone with a bit more experience. Nevertheless, the organisation should keep her in mind should the managerial position open up in the future.


Photo credit: ESPN


5. Kiatisuk Senamuang:


A living legend in Thai football history, Senamuang has built on his illustrious playing career by coaching Thailand to AFF Championship victory on two occasions.


Since Senamuang has such a successful track record in managing a national team, it would be a reasonable proposition to consider him for the Hong Kong job.


However, his recent form as a manager has faltered, and it suffices to say that his loyalties lie firmly with Thailand. Hence, the HKFA should only consider him as a last resort if they fail to land any other of the candidates.