Guangdong Sunray Cave have appointed Cantonese legend Mai Chao as new head couch as the struggling China League One side search for their first win of 2014.
Sunray Cave narrowly missed out on promotion to the CSL with a final day home loss in 2013 which saw the club replace Zhang Jun with Julio Moreno Cesar . However, a winless stretch of six games to open the new season allowed the club to activate a clause in Cesar’s contract allowing it to be terminated.
The Chilean was replaced by reserve team coach Feng Feng but Feng was also unable to find a win and has now been downgraded to assistant coach with Mai Chao coming in to try and transform the fortunes of the Cantonese club who are currently second bottom of China League One.
Mai Chao was capped 49 times by China and, a native of Guangzhou, has spent his entire footballing career in Guangdong; first as a player for Guangzhou FC (now Evergrande) and then as manager of the same side in two different spells (when the club was known by two different names but still based in Guangzhou) and finally a season managing in Shenzhen.
Sunray Cave are suffering on the pitch from the loss of last season’s top scorer Dori to CSL side Harbin Yiteng and the return of their two Hong Kong internationals to the former British colony. Off the pitch, despite averages attendances of 5,000 at Foshan’s Century Lotus Stadium for the final five games of 2013, the club decided their media profile was too low so moved back to Guangzhou. Unfortunately for them the crowds at the Huangpu Stadium are significantly lower and 2,000 is an optimistic figure for many games this season.
Guangdong Sunray Cave v Qingdao Manatees kicks off at 3.35pm on Saturday at the Huangpu Sports Centre