Matt Chan, 15, has been playing football since he was five years old, and has played for prestigious clubs like Kitchee and Chelsea FC football school in Hong Kong, where he helped them win the Hong Kong Football Association junior cup.
He was also selected to join the Hong Kong Eastern District all-stars team, and helped them win the championship and eventually was awarded the Most Valuable Player award.
“I’ve experienced the best Hong Kong football has to offer, Diocesan Boys’ School is the best football school in Hong Kong,” said the former DBS student. However he is enjoying the support he is getting at his new school, Shrewsbury, in Britain.
“In Britain, they care so much more about your individual ability, they care about making sure you’re well rested, and always try to provide what you need. After the tour the coaches have one-on-one meetings with you about what you do well, what you didn’t do well, and what you can do in the future. Hong Kong has more broad training, but they don’t focus on you as an individual.”
“I now have more opportunities for both football and academics,” added Matt. “For sure the football is better in Britain; the playing style and the coaches are much better than in Hong Kong, and now I’m a better player than I’ve ever been.”
Matt’s football goals now include playing for the Hong Kong national team and getting a football scholarship to a university in the US, so he can pursue a professional career.
“It will require me to step up my game and take a big leap,” Matt admitted. “But I think I can do it. I really hope I can get a scholarship so I can focus on both football and academics.”
“I would also love to play for Hong Kong because it’s been my home since I was born. That would be a dream come true.”
Matt recently had the opportunity to meet his football idol Paul Scholes, and is more inspired than ever to become a football star for Hong Kong.
“I’ve always liked Scholes because he’s not a big, tall guy, and I’m not really a big, tall guy,” he explained. “So I like to play like him, and to get to meet him was just amazing.”
Scholes is an British former footballer who played for Manchester United, and the principal of the 433 Token – a new form of blockchain technology that brings smart contracts to football. It allows fans to sponsor, bid and vote for young players.
Young players that receive enough bidding can receive one-to-one mentorship with legendary players such as Scholes.
“I’m a firm believer in supporting youth development in football. I’m delighted to be part of this project and excited about hopefully helping the next generation of young footballers,” Scholes said.
If you could describe yourself as an animal on the football pitch, what would it be?
I would say a cheetah because I think they’re really smart and they hunt down prey, and that’s what I feel like I’m doing when I’m hunting for goals and making passes.
Special song or artist that you listen to before a match?
I’ve got a playlist that I listen to before a game. It has ‘Til I Collapse and Lose Yourself by Eminem, X Gon’ Give It To Ya by DMX and Get Hyper by Droideka. It’s a hype playlist.
Is there a special type of food you eat before a match?
Sometimes I will drink a sports drink to get me energised before a match.