After a 3-2 win over Liaoning Whowin FC on Saturday Newcastle Jets’ attention has now shifted to Wednesday’s meeting with reigning Hong Kong Premier League (HKPL) Champions Eastern SC at the Boa’an Stadium in Shenzhen.
In the second match of the club’s China tour Scott Miller’s men will be seeking to back up their sound performance against the Chinese Super League side with another strong display against one of Hong Kong’s top teams.
Ahead of Wednesday’s match - which is scheduled to kick-off at 4:30pm local time (6:30pm AEST) - here is some information about our opponents from the HKPL.Eastern Sports Club (Hong Kong)
League: Hong Kong Premier League (HKPL)
Manager: Chan Yuen-ting
Captain: Yapp Hung Fai
Colours: Blue, white, red
Significant Titles: HKPL Champions 2015/16
Fact 1: Coach Chan Yeun-ting (pictured below) became the first female manager to lead a men’s professional football team in a nation’s top domestic division to a league championship last season.
Fact 2: England World Cup winner Bobby Moore coached Eastern SC in the 1981/82 Hong Kong Premier League season.
Last HKPL Match: Eastern SC defeated Wofoo Tai Po 1-0 in their Hong Kong Premier League 2016/17 season opener last Friday night. Croatian midfielder Miroslav Saric scored the only goal of the game six minutes after half time.
Next HKPL Match: Eastern SC’s next match in the HKPL will be against Guangzhou R&F (Hong Kong) on Saturday 9 September.
Current HKPL Position: 3rd
Eastern SC possess a number of players with sound experience in leagues around the world. Here are some details about just a handful of the players who call the Mong Kok Stadium home.
Josh Mitchell (Australia)
Where else can we start but with Novocastrian and former Jets defender Josh Mitchell? Mitchell, who can play either in central defence or at left back, represented the Jets between 2012 and 2014, and also played for Newcastle United in the old National Soccer League. Eastern SC is Mitchell’s second club in Asia, and funnily enough his last club was Liaoning Whowin FC from the Chinese Super League. Mitchell is set to come up against some former teammates, and mates, when the Jets and Eastern SC collide this Wednesday in Shenzhen.
Miroslav Saric (Croatia)
Another link to the Newcastle Jets first team comes through Eastern SC’s Croatian midfielder Miroslav Saric. Saric was a couple of years ahead of Jets midfielder Mateo Poljak when the two were youth players at Dinamo Zagreb in their homelands. Since his Zagreb days attacking midfielder Saric has played for a number of clubs in Croatia, as well as with Toronto FC in Major League Soccer. Since 2012 Saric has been in Hong Kong, and he’s already got one goal to his credit this campaign having netted the winner against Wofoo Tai Po last Friday.
Giovane Alves da Silva (Brazil)
Brazilian marksman Giovane Alves da Silva shapes as one of the key players that the Jets will need to nullify this Wednesday in Shenzhen. The 33-year-old striker has an impressive strike rate in his Hong Kong Premier League career, having scored goals aplenty during his time with South China AA, Biu Chan Rangers, and since 2013, Eastern SC.
Michel Antunes Lugo (Brazil)
Another of the foreign players that the Jets defence will need to keep an eye on at the Boa’an Stadium is Brazilian forward Michel Antunes Lugo. The tall 29-year-old has been in Hong Kong since 2013, first representing Sun Hei before transferring to Eastern SC in 2014. Lugo played at a range of lower division teams in Brazil before making the move to Asia where his goal return has been about one in every three games.