Former Taiwan head coach Gary White to lead HK

Staff writer, with CNA

Wed, Sep 12, 2018 - Page 16

Following the failure of the Taiwanese soccer authorities to extend the one-year deal of national team head coach Gary White, he was unveiled as the new coach of Hong Kong on Monday.

“Gary joins us with a wealth of experience at the international level having previously managed four senior national teams, his knowledge of football in Asia was also a factor we took into consideration in making his appointment,” a press release quoted Hong Kong Football Association (HKFA) chief executive Mark Sutcliffe as saying. “I wish him well and call upon all football stakeholders in Hong Kong to get behind the new head coach and work with him to achieve the success we all crave.”

The 44-year-old former professional player thanked the HKFA for giving him the opportunity.

“It is an honor to lead the Hong Kong team and I am very motivated to improve, progress and develop the team,” White said. “I have been in the opposite dugout a few times and I can see the potential in the players, especially some of the younger guys coming through. The lead-in time to the first matches is short and I am looking forward to getting started on this challenging role.”

White is to spend his first few weeks assessing the players and meeting the clubs, the HKFA said.

He is to take charge of two international matches next month against Thailand and Indonesia, before leading the team into the East Asian Football Federation second-round qualifiers in November, in which they face Taiwan on Nov. 14.

Since signing a contract with the Chinese Taipei Football Association (CTFA) in September last year, White led the national team to seven consecutive home wins, the most recent a 2-0 victory over Malaysia on Friday last week.

Three years ago, the team was ranked 182nd out of the 211 FIFA member associations, but in the latest rankings, released last month, Taiwan had jumped to No. 125.

The CTFA has yet to issue a statement explaining why it refused to renew White’s contract or to announce who is to take over as head coach.