Hong Kong coach denied services of naturalized Ghanaian Wisdom Agbo for Asian Games
Hong Kong coach Kim Pan-gon has given up hope of using naturalised Ghanaian Wisdom Agbo for the Asian Games.
Pan-gon announced a 20-strong squad consisting wholly of domestic players without Agbo who was not released by his club for the Incheon tournament that kicks off in mid-September.
Also left out is Andy Nagelein of German descent, who holds a Hong Kong passport and are plying their trade on the mainland.
The Asian Games soccer competition is limited to under-23 players, but each team are allowed to field three overage competitors.
“We have had contact with their respective clubs but since the Asian Games are not under [world governing body] Fifa and their own league competitions are at a crucial stage, they could not support us,” said Kim.
“Both Agbo and Nagelein fitted into our plans as overage players but we cannot use them. However, the silver lining is that upcoming players get the opportunity. In the long run, it should also help Hong Kong soccer.”
Leung Kwun-chung and his younger brother, Leung Nok-hang, both playing for Yokohama FC (Hong Kong), will become the first choices in central defence with Kim selecting goalkeeper Yapp Hung-fai, midfielder Ju Yingzhi and flanker Christian Annan as the overage players.
“The presence of Yapp between the posts will help stabilise the defence as the Eastern goalkeeper is the best in Hong Kong,” said Kim.
“Ju proved himself with Pegasus last season with his power to read the game and vision in midfield, while Annan did a very good job in Kitchee’s match against French league champions Paris Saint-Germain.”
Kim had at one stage considered Pegasus defender Festus Baise but the Nigerian-born veteran, who fulfilled the seven-year residence rule last year, has yet to obtain his Hong Kong passport.
“Li Ngai-hoi and Wan Chun can also play central defence,” said Kim. “If these promising youngsters rise to the occasion in Incheon, they will become much more mature players.”