Saturday, August 7, 2021

KITCHEE RESHUFFLES KEY COACHING POSITIONS TEMPORARILY AFTER ACL 2021 SUCCESS

KITCHEE RESHUFFLES KEY COACHING POSITIONS

After successfully defended the Hong Kong Premier League title in May, Kitchee played recently in the AFC Champions League 2021 (“ACL 2021”) in Thailand and finished with 3 wins, 2 draws and 1 loss, with 11 points against teams from Japan, Thailand and China. History was made for Hong Kong as this is the best-ever results by any local club in this prestigious Asian club competition. It successfully demonstrated the improving level of Hong Kong football in Asia. 

KITCHEE RESHUFFLES KEY COACHING POSITIONS
Interim Head Coach

Armed with this experience, Kitchee aims to make it through to the knockout stage in future ACL competitions which will require all-round improving performance from their young players. The Club expanded the coaching team immediately after ACL 2021, with each member taking on more refined responsibilities focusing in improving young players. 

To this end, Alex Chu Chi-kwong, Head Coach of Kitchee First Team, will temporarily step down from the First Team and return to his original position as Director of Football until the start of ACL 2022 with a strict focus on developing individual training programmes for the Club’s young players so that they may be better equipped for the upcoming ACL competitions. 

Meanwhile, Kim Dong-jin, Assistant Coach of First Team, has been named the Interim Head Coach for Kitchee in the Hong Kong Premier League for the coming season. Kitchee has won many local titles in recent years, including 8 league titles in the last 11 years. Alex was in charge of Kitchee’s first team on 5 of those 8 winning seasons, and he was awarded the “Best Coach of the Year” three times since the Hong Kong Premier League was formed in 2014. 

Alex is also a prominent figure in Kitchee Academy, which develops and nurtures talents like Matthew Orr, Law Tsz-chun, Cheng Chin-lung, Ho Chun-ting, Clement Benhaddouche, and Ngan Cheuk-pan. These players all joined the Club for more than a decade and have been promoted to the First Team. Alex will take on this important task of implementing individual training programmes for our upcoming young players so that more young players will be ready for future ACL competitions. 

Kim Dong-jin, Kitchee’s Interim Head Coach from Korea, played as a central defender and left-back in his professional career. In 2006-2009, Kim joined Zenit Saint Petersberg for three seasons and won several titles, including the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup in 2008. 

Apart from Zenit Saint Petersberg, Kim also played for FC Seoul and Ulsan Hyundai in K-league. With over 60 international caps for Korea, Kim participated in two World Cups and two Olympics. In the season 2017-2018, Kim joined Kitchee and subsequently helped the Club to win the treble in two consecutive seasons. On 24 July 2019, Kim ended his 18-year professional career and made his final appearance as a footballer at the game against Manchester City for Kitchee, at which time he started his coaching career. 

With Kim’s extensive experience, the Club is confident that the First Team will remain dominant in the domestic league and be ready to achieve greatness by shaping the players for the AFC Champions League 2022 and beyond. Kitchee will start the pre-season training on 11 August at the Jockey Club Kitchee Centre with players returning from their respective summer break and quarantine in the coming week. The team will have several pre-season friendlies to warm up in before the season begins on 18 September.

No comments: