Putting an end to various rumours, the HKFA has eventually decided to extend the contract of coach Kim Pan-gon until June 2018. The 46-year-old Korean will therefore stay with the representative team throughout the next qualification round that will most likely determine if Hong Kong will obtain a ticket for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
Coach Kim has earned much praise for Hong Kong’s recent World Cup qualifier campaign, in which the team impressed with outstanding performances against China, Qatar, Bhutan and Maldives, putting it at eye level with the Chinese national team by holding them to two goalless draws.
Kim earned his spurs as left winger with Ulsan Hyundai FC and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in Korea’s K-League Classic, before transferring to Hong Kong in 2000, where he played for teams such as Instant-Dict FC (2000-2001), Double Flower (2001-2003) and Hong Kong Rangers (2003-2004).
He later returned to Korea as assistant coach for Busan IPark. However, in 2008 he came back to Hong Kong, where he became manager of South China and later the Hong Kong Representative Team (both senior and U-23). He holds his current position since 2012. A few weeks ago Japanese fitness coach Seigo Akeda announced his departure from the HKFA.