After three consecutive third-place finishes, Hang Yuan FC are ready to change course and focus on youth.
During the winter offseason, the Xinzhuang District club has seen several key players leave.
At the attacking end, they have lost a lot of goals. Haitian striker Benchy Estama, HYFC’s top scorer last season, has left for Taiwan Steel FC and their third-highest scorer, South Korean Joo Ik-Seong, has gone to Taichung Futuro.
HYFC have also lost two other Haitian players – veteran defender Jean-Marc Alexandre and midfielder Peterson Joseph. Both left for the U.S.A.
If the 2020 season is to commence as planned, the club will heavily rely on young players coming from Fu Jen University. Former Haiti international Judelin Aveska has returned to Xinzhuang District from Chilean second division side Santiago Morning to help mentor them.
Aveska succinctly explained his own motivations and what he perceived his job remit to be: “Growing the youngest players is the goal now, I enjoy helping them to improve, that’s why I came back to Taiwan.”
To symbolise this change of strategy, HYFC unveiled a new logo on March 28. The new logo features a ray on a yellow background and is more obviously a footballing badge than the previous design.
To add some experience to the ranks, HYFC have signed Japanese midfielder Atsushi Shimono. The 31 year-old journeyman arrived from Zwekapin United FC in Myanmar.
Shimono will look to provide service for Taaiwan international Chen Ching-Hsuan, who will likely shoulder the majority of the goal scoring burden this season. The 29 year-old striker scored 5 goals in TFPL last year and one in the AFC Cup. Chen could form a dangerous duo with former U19 international winger Lin Ming-Wei.
Head coach Hong Qing-Huai will likely hope for further progress to be made by 20 year-old international Wu Yen-Shu. The defensive midfielder, who shone with the U19 national team, made his FIFA World Cup qualifying debut last October against Australia.
Aveska is well aware of Yen-Shu’s ability and has spoken highly of his talents, stating:”We’re [expecting] a lot from him because he’s a very talented player” and “Yen-Shu must be confident he’s not a player like others.”
The promising player from Hualien High School trained last summer with J2 League’s FC Ryukyu in part of the partnership between the CTFA and the Japanese club from Okinawa. If a seemingly reduced HYFC are to keep their spot in the top 3, he could well prove to be the difference.