Eastern Sports Club

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Eastern
Eastern Sports Club.svg
Full nameEastern Athletic Association Football Team Limited [1]
(東方體育會足球隊有限公司)
Founded1932;89 years ago (1932)
Ground Mong Kok Stadium
Capacity6,664
PresidentLam Kin Ming
Head Coach Lee Chi Kin
League Hong Kong Premier League
2019–20 2nd
Website Club website
Soccerball current event.svg Current season

Eastern Athletic Association Football Team Limited, [1] [2] also known as Eastern Sports Club (Chinese : ) is a Hong Kong professional sports club with football and basketball sections, that competes in the Hong Kong Premier League, the top flight of Hong Kong football. [3]

Contents

The football team is known as Eastern Football Team (Chinese :東方足球隊) (currently known for sponsorship reasons as Eastern Long Lions Football Team (Chinese :東方龍獅足球隊) and plays in the Hong Kong Premier League.

In 2017, Eastern became the first club from Hong Kong to compete in the group stage of AFC Champions League.

History

Early history

In 1925, a group of workers from the Chinese :China Building in Central formed the Chinese Football team. [4] Two years later in 1927, the club changed its name to the Eastern Athletic Association, establishing itself as an all Chinese football club, and entered the Hong Kong Second Division. [5]

During the 1931–32 season, Eastern initially won the right to promotion but declined. It was not until the 1936–37 season that the club would make its debut in the Hong Kong First Division, finishing 11th.

1940–1990

Eastern won its first trophy in club history in 1940, capturing the Senior Shield in a 2–1 victory over South China. Success was not permanent at Eastern who were relegated back to the Second Division not long after and did not return until the 1948–49 season.

The 1950s saw the first period of sustained success for Eastern. The club won the First Division for the first time in 1955–56 and captured two Senior Shields during this decade. It was also during the 50s when Hong Kong football legend Lam Sheung Yee signed with Eastern and earned his debut in the First Division. [6] Lam would go on to spend four separate spells at Eastern throughout his career although silverware eluded Lam during those years.

During the 1960s and 70s, the majority of Eastern's funding came from pro-Taiwan backed groups while rivals Happy Valley received sponsorship from pro-China groups. An intense rivalry developed between the clubs during this period and the media referred to the derbies between them as the "Chinese Civil War." [7]

In the 1981–82 season the club was managed by former England captain and World Cup winner Bobby Moore. Notable English players such as 1966 World Cup winner Alan Ball and Graham Paddon played for the club in the early 80s. Eastern's ability to attract such players was due to their large budget, funded by billionaire businessman Peter Lam. The strong squad were able to win two Senior Shields and a Hong Kong FA Cup in the 80s, however, they were never able to capture the First Division title.

Eastern Dynasty

Following the 1990–91 season, third placed club Lai Sun announced that they would be withdrawing from the First Division. This became the catalyst for Eastern's dynasty in the first half of the 90s as many former Lai Sun players found a home at Eastern. Starting with a runners up finish in 1991–92, the club then dominated Hong Kong football, winning three consecutive First Division titles between 1992 and 1995. During the 1993–94 and 1994–95 seasons, the club won the treble, capturing all three major trophies in both seasons.

Unfortunately, due to a massive reduction in sponsorship revenue prior to the 1995–96 season, Eastern had to release many of their top players and were forced to sign younger, less experienced players. A year later, the club were relegated after a last place finish and returned to the Second Division for the first time since 1948.

Relegation and subsequent promotion

In the subsequent ten years following relegation in 1997, Eastern struggled in the league. The club finished at the bottom of the Second Division in 2002–03 and dropped down to the Third Division. They would eventually turn the tide by capturing the Third Division title in 2004–05 and returned to the second tier.

Ahead of the 2006–07 season Eastern were to be demoted to Hong Kong Third Division but the Hong Kong Football Association intervened and invited the club to compete in First Division League for 2007–08 season. It looked unlikely at first that for the club to obtain sufficient sponsorship to make the move up, however the club confirmed their participation in July 2007. [8]

After competing in the top flight for two seasons, Eastern decided to self-relegated into the Third Division ahead of the 2009–10 season due to financial difficulties. [9] After declining the right to promotion twice during their stay in the Third Division, the club finally accepted promotion during the 2011–12 season in which they won all 18 of their league matches and finished as champions.

During the 2012–13 season, Eastern was promoted back to the First Division League as the third place finishers in the Second Division League. [10] They were branded as Eastern Salon from 2012 to 2016 due to sponsorship reasons.

In April 2016, Eastern won the 2015–16 Hong Kong Premier League under the guidance of Chan Yuen Ting. With Eastern's victory, the club became the first men's professional association football team to win a domestic, top flight championship under the management of a woman. Chan only lost one game in the 2015–16 season since being appointed. [11]

In the 2016–17 season, Eastern was branded as Eastern Long Lions for sponsorship reasons. They beat Kitchee 3–1 to win the Community Cup. The club also reached the final of the Senior Shield before losing to Kitchee 2–1 at Hong Kong Stadium. The club went on a season-long unbeaten run in the league until the final match day when they lost to Kitchee 4–1 at Mong Kok Stadium and finished runners up. The season also marked the first time for a Hong Kong club to compete in the group stage of AFC Champions League. Eastern finished the ACL campaign with one point in six matches, finishing in the bottom of their group. The club's only silverware of the season came from the league playoff, where they beat Southern 3–0 in the final to secure their spot in the second qualifying round of the AFC Champions League the next year.

In 2018, Eastern obtained the sponsorship of Top East Holdings, allowing the club to expand their budget and invest more resources. [12] The club launched a program known as Project E in which Eastern will send its most promising young players to train with Portuguese club Cova da Piedade.

Ahead of the 2019–20 season, Eastern lured reigning Coach of the Year Lee Chi Kin and many of his former players from Tai Po in hopes of returning the club to title contender status. [13]

Name history

Team staff

PositionStaff
Head coach Flag of Hong Kong.svg Lee Chi Kin
Assistant coach Flag of Spain.svg Roberto Losada
Assistant coach Flag of Hong Kong.svg Li Hang Wui
Assistant coach Flag of Hong Kong.svg Lo Chi Kwan
Goalkeeping coach Flag of Brazil.svg Ricardo Navarro

Source: [ citation needed ]

Current squad

First team

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.Pos.NationPlayer
1 GK Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Yapp Hung Fai
3 MF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Diego Eli
5 DF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Clayton
6 DF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Chak Ting Fung
7 FW Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Fernando
8 MF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Lee Ka Yiu
9 FW Flag of Brazil.svg  BRA Lucas Silva FP
10 FW Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Sandro
11 FW Flag of Brazil.svg  BRA Everton Camargo FP
15 DF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Fung Hing Wa
16 MF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Leung Chun Pong (captain)
17 MF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Leung Kwun Chung
18 MF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Cheng Tsz Sum
No.Pos.NationPlayer
20 DF Flag of Brazil.svg  BRA Dudu FP
22 MF Flag of Australia (converted).svg  AUS Jared Lum LP
23 MF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Wong Wai
26 GK Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Liu Fu Yuen
29 MF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Oliver Laxton
30 DF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Wong Tsz Ho
32 DF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Alex Jojo LP
33 DF Flag of Brazil.svg  BRA Eduardo Praes FP
55 DF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Ma Hei Wai
77 MF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Naveed Khan
80 FW Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Chung Wai Keung
88 MF Flag of Brazil.svg  BRA João Emir FP
99 GK Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Tsang Man Fai

Remarks:
FP These players are registered as foreign players.
LP These players are registered as local players in Hong Kong domestic football competitions.

Out on loan

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No.Pos.NationPlayer
DF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Lau Hok Ming (on loan at Pegasus)
MF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Wu Chun Ming (on loan at Pegasus)
DF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Cheng King Ho (on loan at Resource Capital)
MF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Yue Tze Nam (on loan at Resource Capital)
MF Flag of Hong Kong.svg  HKG Toby Down (on loan at Southern)

Honours

League

Champions (1): 2015–16
Runners-up (3): 2014–15, 2016–17, 2019–20
Champions (4): 1955–56, 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95
Runners-up (2): 1986–87, 1991–92
Champions (1): 1947–48
Champions (3): 2004–05, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12

Cup Competitions

Champions (11): 1939–40, 1952–53, 1955–56, 1981–82, 1986–87, 1992–93, 1993–94, 2007–08, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2019–20
Runners-up (4): 1947–48, 1971–72, 2016–17, 2017–18
Champions (5): 1983–84, 1992–93, 1993–94, 2013–14, 2019–20
Runners-up (2): 1994–95, 2014–15
Champions (1): 2020–21
Champions (2): 1970–72, 1980–81
Champions (1): 2016
Runners-up (1): 2017

Season-to-season record

SeasonTierDivisionTeamsPositionHome StadiumAttendance/G FA Cup Senior Shield League Cup Sapling Cup
2005–06 2 Sceond Division 139
2006–07 2 Sceond Division 1110
2007–08 1 First Division 107Semi-finalsChampionsSemi-finals
2008–09 1 First Division 139First RoundQuarter-finalsSemi-finals
2009–10 3 Third A Division 201
2010–113 Third A Division 191
2011–12 3 Third A Division 191
2012–13 2 Second Division 113
2013–14 1 First Division 126 Shing Mun Valley Sports Ground
Sham Shui Po Sports Ground
Mong Kok Stadium
1,069ChampionsSemi-finals
2014–15 1 Premier League 92 Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground 960Runner-upChampionsKnock-out Stage
2015–16 1 Premier League 91 Mong Kok Stadium 1,908Quarter-finalsChampionsSemi-finalsSemi-finals
2016–17 1 Premier League 112 Mong Kok Stadium 1,923Semi-finalsRunner-upSemi-finals
2017–18 1 Premier League 104 Mong Kok Stadium 1,511Quarter-finalsRunner-upGroup Stage
2018–19 1 Premier League 105 Hong Kong Stadium 1,040First RoundSemi-finalsGroup Stage
2019–20 1 Premier League 102 Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground 803ChampionsChampionsGroup Stage

Note:

  1st or Champions  2nd or Runner-up  3rd place  Promotion  Relegation

Continental record

SeasonCompetitionRoundClubHomeAwayAggregate
1994 Asian Club Championship First Round Flag of Japan.svg Verdy Kawasaki 1–01–32–3
1995 Asian Club Championship First Round Flag of Brunei.svg Kota Ranger 6–16–112–2
Second Round Flag of Japan.svg Verdy Kawasaki 1–23–44–6
2009 AFC Cup Group G Flag of Thailand.svg Chonburi FC 2–11–43rd
Flag of Vietnam.svg Hà Nội ACB 3–00–3
Flag of Malaysia.svg Kedah FA 3–30–2
2017 AFC Champions League Group G Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg Guangzhou Evergrande 0–60–74th
Flag of Japan.svg Kawasaki Frontale 1–10–4
Flag of South Korea.svg Suwon Samsung Bluewings 0–10–5
2018 AFC Champions League Qualifying Preliminary Round 2 Flag of Vietnam.svg FLC Thanh Hóa 2–4

Record

In 1992–93 season, Eastern maintained a record of 9 straight wins in the first half of the First Division League season. The team scored 30 goals in the first 9 matches with no goals conceded. It was a record of 3-zero (0 draw, 0 loss, 0 conceded). Eastern captured 3 trophies in that season, and regained the League Champion title after 37 years. [14]

Former coaches

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References

  1. 1 2 "Eastern Athletic Association Football Team Limited (CR No. 1253874)". ICRIS, Companies Registry, the Government of Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  2. "Eastern A.A. Football Team". Hong Kong Football Association. Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  3. "Eastern set aside HK$10 million to become first professional basketball team in Hong Kong". South China Morning Post . Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  4. 湯偉雄. 東方體育會足球隊訪問澳洲南洋特刊 (in Chinese).
  5. 嗇名. 球國春秋 (in Chinese). p. 75.
  6. 「國腳訪問記(十九) 鴻運當頭的林尚義」《Sing Tao》,1958年5月4日第5版 (in Chinese)
  7. Y-Shing. "港波佬Vol.12:淺談「港足」百餘載之十二──東方「皇朝". Goal.com. Retrieved 6 May 2018.(in Chinese)
  8. "東方王朝今季再現!". The Sun. Archived from the original on 25 January 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2007.(in Chinese)
  9. "東方有先例 八年前自降丙組". Apple Daily. Retrieved 5 June 2017.(in Chinese)
  10. "About Eastern Sports Club". Eastern Sports Club. Retrieved 18 March 2016.
  11. "Chan becomes first female to lead men's team to top-flight title". Four Four Two. Haymarket Media Group. 3 November 2016. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  12. "尚東集團贊助東方龍獅力爭佳績". on.cc. Retrieved 1 November 2018.(in Chinese)
  13. Lee, Chi Kin. "李志堅攜大埔班底投東方龍獅 16新兵加盟佔全隊逾半". HK01. Retrieved 17 July 2019.(in Chinese)
  14. HKFA website (in Chinese) 東方不敗的一項全勝紀錄
  15. 東方龍獅足球隊主教練陳婉婷請辭 [Eastern Long Lions Football Team head coach Chan Yuen Ting resigns] (Press release) (in Chinese). Hong Kong: Eastern Sports Club. 4 February 2019. Archived from the original on 4 February 2019. Retrieved 4 February 2019.