‘I want to help bring Hong Kong soccer to the forefront of Asia’ – lofty ambitions for city’s first export to South America
Shanghai Shenhua defender Brian Fok hopes to gain valuable experience from his time in Uruguay
Hong Kong youth international Brian Fok will become the first local player to feature in South American soccer after the youngster joined a Uruguayan second division side, it was confirmed on Thursday.
The 23-year-old defender will go on loan to Club Atletico Juventud of Uruguay for the 2018-19 season from his parent club Shanghai Shenhua, the China Super League club he joined in 2014.
“I’m proud and excited to be making Hong Kong soccer history,” said Fok. “I have never imagined of being able to play professional soccer in South America, especially in Uruguay where it is known for producing the most number of football professionals per capita.”
Born in Nigeria and raised in Hong Kong, Fok played for Hong Kong Premier League club Rangers before moving to the Shanghai club where he struggled to break into the first team. He was selected for the Hong Kong youth team which he represented 22 times at under-22 and under-18 levels.
While Fok hoped his arrival would help his new club to gain promotion, the centre half also wanted to use his experience in a top soccer nation to help Hong Kong.
“One of my goals is to help bring Hong Kong soccer to the forefront of Asian level through the know-how and experience I gain in Uruguay,” he said.
Uruguay is known as an exporter of talented players to top European leagues, and recently to
Hong Kong through Diego Forlan, despite its small population.
The small nation has won two World Cups and two Olympic gold medals and is ranked 22nd in the world.