Eastern Sports Club

(Redirected from Eastern SC)

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

Eastern Sports Club.svg
Full nameEastern Athletic Association Football Team Limited[1]
Founded1932; 91 years ago (1932)
GroundMong Kok Stadium
Head CoachRoberto Losada
LeagueHong Kong Premier League
WebsiteClub website
Current season

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.


Early historyEdit

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.


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 DynastyEdit

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 promotionEdit

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 drop 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 for sponsorship reasons.

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

Eastern players celebrating after winning the 2019–20 Senior Shield.

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 its budget.[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] The club were successful in his first season, winning the Senior Shield-FA Cup double, and won the Sapling Cup in his second season. But, the club failed to win the league in 2020–21, and Lee stepped down as head coach following the season.

Name historyEdit

  • 1932–2012: Eastern (東方)
  • 2012–2016: Eastern Salon (東方沙龍)
  • 2016–: Eastern Long Lions (東方龍獅)

Technical staffEdit

Position Staff
Head coach   Roberto Losada
Assistant coach   Cristiano Cordeiro
Assistant coach   Lo Chi Kwan
Goalkeeping coach   Ricardo Navarro
Sport Performance   Pau MP

Source:[citation needed]

Current squadEdit

First teamEdit

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   HKG Yapp Hung Fai
2 DF   HKG Alexander Jojo
3 DF   KGZ Tamirlan Kozubayev FP
4 DF   HKG Leon Jones
5 DF   POR João Gil FP
6 MF   HKG Wu Chun Ming
7 MF   TUR Kaan Gül FP
8 MF   PHI Mark Swainston LP
9 FW   ESP Víctor Bertomeu FP
10 MF   TPE Emilio Estevez FP
11 MF   HKG Wong Ho Chun
16 MF   HKG Leung Chun Pong (captain)
22 DF   HKG Leung Kwun Chung
No. Pos. Nation Player
23 FW   HKG Sun Ming Him
24 MF   HKG Wong Wai Chun
26 GK   HKG Liu Fu Yuen
27 MF   ESP Marcos Gondra FP
30 DF   HKG Wong Tsz Ho (vice-captain)
40 GK   HKG Chung Hoi Man
42 MF   HKG Yeung Tung Ki
44 MF   HKG Prabhat Gurung
55 MF   HKG Ma Hei Wai
62 DF   HKG Lau Ho Yeung
66 MF   HKG Lee Cheuk Hin
77 FW   HKG Lee Chun Ting

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

Out on loanEdit

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
FW   HKG Chu Wai Kwan (on loan at Sham Shui Po)



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 CompetitionsEdit

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 (5): 1947–48, 1971–72, 2016–17, 2017–18, 2022–23
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 recordEdit

Season Tier Division Teams Position Home Stadium Attendance/G FA Cup Senior Shield League Cup Sapling Cup
2005–06 2 Second Division 13 9
2006–07 2 Second Division 11 10
2007–08 1 First Division 10 7 Semi-finals Champions Semi-finals
2008–09 1 First Division 13 9 First Round Quarter-finals Semi-finals
2009–10 3 Third A Division 20 1
2010–11 3 Third A Division 19 1
2011–12 3 Third A Division 19 1
2012–13 2 Second Division 11 3
2013–14 1 First Division 12 6 Shing Mun Valley Sports Ground
Sham Shui Po Sports Ground
Mong Kok Stadium
1,069 Champions Semi-finals
2014–15 1 Premier League 9 2 Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground 960 Runner-up Champions Knock-out Stage
2015–16 1 Premier League 9 1 Mong Kok Stadium 1,908 Quarter-finals Champions Semi-finals Semi-finals
2016–17 1 Premier League 11 2 Mong Kok Stadium 1,923 Semi-finals Runner-up Semi-finals
2017–18 1 Premier League 10 4 Mong Kok Stadium 1,511 Quarter-finals Runner-up Group Stage
2018–19 1 Premier League 10 5 Hong Kong Stadium 1,040 First Round Semi-finals Group Stage
2019–20 1 Premier League 10 2 Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground 803 Champions Champions Group Stage
2020–21 1 Premier League 8 2 Mong Kok Stadium 1,162 Champions


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

Continental recordEdit

Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
1994 Asian Club Championship First round   Verdy Kawasaki 1–0 1–3 2–3
1995 Asian Club Championship First round   Kota Ranger 6–1 6–1 12–2
Second round   Verdy Kawasaki 1–2 3–4 4–6
2009 AFC Cup Group G   Chonburi FC 2–1 1–4 3rd
  Hà Nội ACB 3–0 0–3
  Kedah FA 3–3 0–2
2017 AFC Champions League Group G   Guangzhou Evergrande 0–6 0–7 4th
  Kawasaki Frontale 1–1 0–4
  Suwon Samsung Bluewings 0–1 0–5
2018 AFC Champions League Qualifying preliminary round 2   FLC Thanh Hóa 2–4
2021 AFC Cup Group J   Lee Man 0–1 2nd
  Athletic 220 1–0
  Tainan City 1–0
2022 AFC Cup Group J   Lee Man 3–1 1st
  Tainan City 3–1
Inter-zone play-off semi-finals   Sogdiana Jizzakh 0–1


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]

Head coachesEdit


  1. ^ a b "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. 9 July 2015. 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. November 2018. Retrieved 1 November 2018. (in Chinese)
  13. ^ Lee, Chi Kin (17 July 2019). "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. ^ "Blue Anorak: Bobby Moore".
  16. ^ 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)). Hong Kong: Eastern Sports Club. 4 February 2019. Archived from the original on 4 February 2019. Retrieved 4 February 2019.

External linksEdit