‘I want to see how far I can go’ – Tommy Chuck becomes latest Hong Kong footballer to play in Europe
The ex-Rangers striker had negotiated for more than a month with the Swiss Challenge League club before deciding to join them
Hong Kong footballer Tommy Chuck Yiu-kwok always wanted to see how far he could go as a player and he gets a chance to test his mettle by becoming the latest local star to sign for a club in Europe.
The 23-year-old forward, who played five seasons with Rangers in the Hong Kong Premier League, announced on Thursday that he had signed with Swiss second-tier side FC Chiasso on a two-year-contract.
“I’ve been playing professionally for a few years and I always wondered whether I would have a chance to play overseas and improve my skills as a footballer,” said Chuck on his fans’ Facebook page. “I want to see how far I can go.”
Chuck hopes he will have more opportunities to play for Hong Kong in the near future. He was called up to the Hong Kong team for the first time and scored in a 2-0 first leg victory in the annual Interport against Guangdong in January. Hong Kong reclaimed the Interport after winning the second leg on penalties.
“Every footballer wants to represent their national team. If we play well, it’s exciting to hear the fans cheering for you. We want more people to support the players. Even if the fans scold us it doesn’t matter, I want people to know who Chuck Yiu-kwok is and I’ll improve.”
Chuck, who scored 23 goals for Rangers since joining the Hong Kong club as a 15-year-old, will now turn out in the red, blue and white colours of Chiasso, who were once famously managed by 2006 Italian World Cup winner Gianluca Zambrotta for two seasons from 2013- 2015.
The Hong Kong forward will be based in Ticino, the southernmost canton of Switzerland, on a border town near Italy’s regions of Piedmont and Lombardy and where Italian is the official language.
According to information from his Facebook fan page, Chuck had negotiated with the Swiss side for more than a month before finally reaching an agreement to sign on for two years.
Chuck terminated his contract with Rangers in February and there was a lot of speculation that he would ply his trade on the mainland having received an offer to trial with China League One side Dalian Transcendence in January. But Chuck decided Europe was best for him.
Two other Hong Kong youngsters are playing for European clubs. Teenager Dai Wai-tsun turns out for Bury FC in English League One, while English Premier club Southampton have 17-year-old Javen Siu Ko-chun in their youth team.
Chiasso are competing in the Swiss Challenge League, which is the second highest tier of the Swiss football league system. Chiasso are in eighth spot in the 10-team division. The team’s most glorious period was between 1948 and 1961, when they played in the Swiss Super League.