English Championship club Peterborough has signed 14-year-old Hong Kong "wonder-kid" Mark Chan Chun-lok after he impressed during a recent trial. Chan has signed until the end of the season with Peterborough after a successful six-week stint. “It is a dream come true. I hope one day I can go up to another level by playing in the higher tier of English football,” Chan told Hong Kong media.
Only a handful of Hong Kong players have played professionally in England. Cheung Chi-doy played for Blackpool in the 60s, becoming the first Asia to play in the English league. Former Hong Kong international Tim Bredbury had spells at Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers in the 80s and 90s.
Chan is a graduate of the Hong Kong “Dreams Come True” program and earned a four-year scholarship with Brooke House College in Leicestershire, England, to develop his footballing ability and education, as well as a trial with Peterborough.
The school launched its own football academy in 2008. Players train and are coached in the morning, study in the afternoons and evenings, and play matches against local schools and clubs and in the English Colleges Football League. They also play matches against professional sides. Currently the Academy has 19 students from Bulgaria, China, England, Jamaica, Nigeria and Thailand.