Sean Tse joins Hong Kong’s South China AA
Former Republic of Ireland under-17 international defender Sean Tse has joined South China AA after being released by Manchester City.
The 20-year-old was born in Manchester to a Chinese father and an Irish mother, but chose to represent the country of his mother at underage level, and was called up to Sean McCaffrey’s under-17s in 2009. After a trial with Manchester United in 2004, he joined rivals Manchester City as an academy player, but failed to make a first team appearance despite being awarded a squad number last season. Tse was linked with Oldham Athletic, but chose to move to Hong Kong instead.
South China AA (南華體育會) are the most successful club in Hong Kong, having lifted the Hong Kong First Division League title over 40 times. Like China, the Hong Kong FA impose strict eligibility rules on foreign players in order to help the national side improve. This season, a maximum of 7 foreign players (mainland Chinese players included) can be registered for a team in the Hong Kong First Division, where no more than 5 of them could be played simultaneously on the pitch, with 1 more can be placed as substitutes.
As a result, Tse’s nationality is listed as being from Hong Kong, while the club’s blog has indicated that Tse has stated his intention of acquiring a Hong Kong passport in order to perhaps qualify for their national team. He is registered on the club’s books as 谢嘉强（Sean Tse Ka Keung), and will wear the number 4 jersey.