Future star? Shanghai schoolboy heads to Europe for trials
The Chinese football world can add a new name today to its list of future hopefuls – that of Shanghai schoolboy player Tycho Collins who is to head to Europe for trials with top Danish club Brøndby IF.
The 11-year-old forward is a top-scoring star in the Shanghai school leagues and also trains with the Ebbe Sand Soccer Academy (ESSA) which was established last year.
Tycho, who has an American father and Chinese mother, has spent all of his life in China and holds a Chinese passport.
“Tycho is an interesting player, and he deserves the chance to train at one of the best soccer academies in Europe, said ESSA Director of Soccer and Head Coach, Mads Davidsen, “We are here to help and develop Chinese soccer, and this is the first step.”
The talented youngster is described by his coach as a total natural who is quick, unselfish and knows when to pass and when to dribble. Such is his goalscoring exploits that he is often moved into defence after scoring 3-4 goals in a game so as not to make games he competes in too one-sided.
Tycho, whose Chinese family name is Zhou, is at the very beginnings of his career but certainly looks to have a talent worth pursuing. With his own youtube channel (see below), hopes are obviously high for this young man. You heard the name here first…
Author: Cameron Wilson
UK trained journalist and long-time Chinese football observer Cameron Wilson has been writing about Chinese football since 2005 for various International and China-based news outlets such as Agence France-Presse, Goal.com, Shanghaiist, China Sports Review, That’s Shanghai, Time out Shanghai and City Weekend. In August 2010 he decided to launch a website dedicated to Chinese football as a central despository for all of his writings ont he subject.
He’s traveled all over China following Shanghai Shenhua as a fully paid-up member of its infamous Blue Devil’s supporters group.
His association with China stretches back over a decade, having first arrived in August 2000 to teach English for a year in a rural town a few hours northwest of Shanghai. He took in his first Chinese football match during this time – a 2-1 victory for Shanghai Shenhua against Dalian Shide. He went home to the UK in July 2001 but returned to China to live in Shanghai in 2005. Since then he’s been a Shanghai Shenhua season ticket holder and a member of the Blue Devil’s supporters’ club. The views expressed by him on Wild East Football may suffer from a slight bias to this effect.
He is also however, still very much a fan of his hometown team, Dunfermline Athletic. A “Par from afar”, as it were.
A passionate believer in the power of the beautiful game to build bridges between diverse peoples and cultures, he was the first foreign fan to travel with the Blue Devil fans’ club to an away match – a tremendous 3-2 victory for Shenhua over Beijng Guoan in September 2007.
Cameron speaks decent mandarin and can crack jokes in Shanghainese.