Hong Kong women’s soccer captain Chan Wing-sze paves path for youngsters in Japan league
Skipper, along with teammates Lau Mung-king and Cheung Wai-ki, have been offered three-month contracts to the end of the season with Japan Soccer College, a Second Division side
Hong Kong women’s football team captain Chan Wing-sze and two teammates left on Tuesday on a ground-breaking journey to join Japan Soccer College, a Second Division team in the Japanese league based in Niigata.
Chan, who is joined by playmaker Lau Mung-king and striker Cheung Wai-ki, hope they will help inspire more youngsters to take up the sport and strengthen the development of women’s soccer in Hong Kong.
The three have been offered three-month contracts to the end of the season after impressing in trials last month.
“This is a dream come true for me,” said 32-year-old Chan, who started playing when she was 10. “In the past, I had never really had any clear objective, and was simply doing my best to help my club win silverware, but now with the opportunity of playing abroad, I hope to establish a career in the sport.”
Japan Soccer College are second-last in the table and the Hong Kong trio could be the catalyst needed to help them avoid relegation with nine matches left in the season.
“My first target is to adapt to the new environment and then try to impress my new team in order to secure a longer contract in Japan. It is definitely not easy for a foreign player. We have to fit in quickly to establish a regular position in a highly competitive environment.
“Even if I cannot ultimately succeed, I still hope my experience can attract more young 8females in Hong Kong to take up the sport.”
Cheung, who scored 41 goals in the league last season to top the scoring table, has had to quit her job as a clerk in a food company to take up the venture.
“I really want to test myself against other players to see how good or bad I am,” said Cheung. “It’s an opportunity I don’t want to miss as it is not easy to get the chance to play overseas.”
The trio will not receive any salary as all are still amateurs, but will be provided board and lodging by the club.