Once Highly-Touted Socceroo Youth Skipper Lands in

Once captain of the Australia Under-17, Under-19 national teams and proudly representing the Socceroos in the 2008 Youth World Cup. Just when Jered Lum seemed to be destined for stardom in Australia football, his once fast-rising football career hit a snag, was virtually put on a halt and suddenly found himself going nowhere. A chance encounter took the talented footballer to Kitchee’s Shek Mun training base and next thing you knew, Australia football’s loss became Kitchee’s gain. Coming through the famous Australia Institute of Sport football program, the former Sydney FC academy graduate spoke about his decision to roll the dice, leave Australia and try his luck in the Hong Kong Premier League. “I went through pretty much all the pathways in Australia football and felt like my playing style was not what they preferred back home. I seemed to have stuck in a routine over there. I was going to training sessions with my team (Marconi Stallions) and things were becoming a bit too easy for me. In truth, I just did not like where I was in terms of my own football development,” said Lum, who chose to stay in Australia over joining a Spanish club in his early teenage days. Just when the young midfielder was feeling lost and no longer in love with the game, Lum’s Chinese heritage, thanks to his Hong Kong-born grandmother, opened up a previously unknown door for him. “Someone wanted to write a Chinese Wikipedia page for me and I said sure. Next thing I knew, an agent approached me and told me he could get me a few trials in Hong Kong. I did not want to go through the motions anymore in Australia and this seemed like a good opportunity. Kitchee was the first club that said they would take a look at me. I came here for three days, the club liked what they saw and next thing I knew, we came to an agreement on a contract for the remainder of the season,” Lum shed light on his move to Hong Kong. With Kitchee going through a less than stellar season on the pitch, Lum wasted no time and quickly established himself in the side, racking up over ten appearances for the Blues since signing with the club in January. Lum revealed the challenges of joining a championship-calibre side that has underperformed this season despite lofty expectations. “The club demands more from us and as players, I can tell you that we want the same things as well,” Lum boldly shouldered responsibilities for the club’s subpar performance this season, despite only joining the club at the start of the year. “No one was happy with how things were going in the first half of the season and as players, we were driven to make amends on the pitch. We wanted to give something back to the fans and to the club. Obviously, we are very happy to capture the League Cup this season and hopefully, it is just the beginning of many more trophies to come. Versatile, not shy to get involved and possesses the ability to spot an open teammate with a precise pass, Lum has earned the admiration of the Kitchee faithfuls with some impressive performances in midfield. The tenacious midfielder went on and spoke about the key ingredient to his own game. “One of the better advices that I have received in my career is to always have confidence in your ability,” Lum shared. “That was something that was drilled to me ever since I was a young kid playing football. In truth, football is an easy game to play if you understand it. I got drafted into the Kitchee side quite early after I signed, played a few games and then started to play more regularly. Next thing you know, my confidence started to soar as a result.” Lum speaks in a confident and mature manner that betrays his relative young age of twenty-three. Sporting a tattoo of his Chinese name on his arm, maybe, just maybe, it is a sign to remind the youngster to one day make a name for himself in the highly competitive football world. “As a young player, I do feel like I have a lot of room to improve,” Lum declared. “Players who played with me in the youth ranks are now playing in the A-League and Europe. Players like Trent Sainsbury had also just signed a big money contract with Jiangsu Suning in the Chinese Super League. Like all football players, I have aspirations to play in bigger and better leagues. However, I fell out of love with the game in Australia and I am just slowly rediscovering it again over here with Kitchee. Nevertheless, we will just have to wait and see how the future goes.” If Lum continues to play with the tenacity, efficiency and brilliance in the Kitchee midfield, there is little doubt that his football career will once again be soaring high along with his new found love for the beautiful game.