Hong Kong teen extends Northern Ireland stay to compete at SuperCupNI

A teenager from Hong Kong extended his summer stay in Northern Ireland so he can play at this week’s SuperCupNI.

Ayden Tong attends Royal School Dungannon and was due to return home at the end of the academic term.

But the 16-year-old prolonged his stay after impressing Co Tyrone coaches during trials for this week’s youth football tournament.

Read more: SuperCupNI 2023 fixtures for opening three days of action

Tyrone manager Martin Gallagher said the talented teen “lives and breathes football” and believes he will be a big hit at the tournament.

“Ayden is a great kid, and a very talented footballer. He is a winger and is so exciting to watch,” said Gallagher.

“Ayden qualifies to play for us as he has been living here for the required amount of time. He was able to commit to all of our trials and he earned his spot on the squad, so we are delighted he has stayed on in Northern Ireland.

“Ayden’s mum and dad managed to secure him accommodation with a family in Cookstown after the school term ended. He will then head back to Hong Kong after the SuperCupNI before returning for the new school year.”

Ayden will compete for Tyrone’s Premier team at this week’s SuperCupNI. They have opening fixtures against Co Antrim, Newcastle United and Northeast Rush.

Photo showing Ayden training during a storm
Ayden pictured training during a storm

“He is living the dream at this week’s SuperCupNI. He couldn’t believe Sunday’s parade through Coleraine, and everything that came with it,” Martin added.

“Ayden lives and breathes football. He is fanatical about it.

“There is even one video of him playing in a storm. He is just so determined to make a career out of football, so hopefully he stars this week and plenty of scouts see him.

“This is a shop window for Ayden, as it is for every player at the tournament. Dreams can be made at the SuperCupNI.”

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BelfastLive – Co Tyrone