Hong Kong´s editor
Steven Lo said on his blog last night the signing of Mateja Kezman is related to years of hard work and how one thing leads to another. It was not easy to sign Nicky Butt and Mateja Kezman because both of them were free agents and numerous clubs around the world made offers.
From winning the league in 2006, taking part in Barclays Asia Trophy in 2007, to hosting Juventus and Manchester City in Hong Kong in 2008, then hosting Tottenham Hotspur in 2009, forming a club partnership with Spurs in the same year, to signing Nicky Butt in 2010, etc etc. All these events were related and led to the signing of Kezman.
Steven Lo had said before that because foreign players are relatively expensive, therefore they will not be given much time to get acclimitised to the club and must perform from the word go. Nicky Butt has already played a game for South China in November and received rave reviews, but Mateja Kezman is still unproven. We know that when it comes to axeing unsuitable players, Steven Lo is no slouch. Leandro Carrijo, a fans' favourite and came to South China after protracted negotiations, has been loaned to TSW Pegasus after a poor spell.
South China's main aims in 2011 is to win the AFC Cup and defend their Hong Kong First Division League title. In the AFC Cup, both Nicky Butt and Mateja Kezman will have to play in the sweltering heat and humidity of India, Indonesia and Thailand, which will be completely different from the cool and dry climate of Europe. They will need to be very fit and it will be a great test for them and Kezman in particular. He will need to score frequently if he wants to fulfill the length of his contract.