BEIJING, Dec. 27 (Xinhuanet) -- Former Shandong Luneng soccer star Li Xiaopeng will coach Qingdao Jonoon, the Qingdao-based club announced Thursday.
Jonoon were relegated to the second tier after a disappointing penultimate finish to the Chinese Super League (CSL) last season.
With Luneng, the former China international midfielder won the top-tier league once and the Chinese FA Cup twice. The Luneng skipper retired in 2005, embarking on a coaching career.
In 2010 Li was named head coach of the Chinese women's national team after then-coach Qi Hong was removed during a match-fixing scandal. Li resigned in 2011 after failing to qualify the team for the London Olympic Games.
"Frankly speaking, this will be a tough task for me, as it is my first time handling a club," Li said at a news conference.
"While I am still a little concerned, that won't be an excuse for not playing hard. Being chosen as the head coach means I have won trust from the board and I must pay all that back to the fans and players."
Chinese League One now harbors three Chinese internationals who all previously played for Luneng.
Coach Su Maozhen will lead his Qingdao Hainiu side out against Li Xiaopeng in the derby clash, while former Luneng striker Li Jinyu, CSL's Golden Boot in 2006 and 2007, now coaches Shenyang Shenbei in the lower league where he can expect to meet his former teammates.
Li Yi, another former Chinese international, is head coach of Shenzhen Ruby. League One now has four former soccer stars coaching their own teams to compete for two CSL berths.