This week on 10 Questions with a Pro we chat to Matthew Lam, a Canadian footballer currently playing with Hong Kong's champions Kitchee Sports Club. Previously, Lam had been called up to the Canadian U20 and had spent time with Croatian club Croatia Sesvete, Canada's FC Edmonton and Japanese outfit JEF United Chiba. The Edmonton native was also a part of the Ajax and Sheffield United youth systems.
FootyFair: When you first started playing in Hong Kong, what was your first impression of the league? How has it changed since?
Matthew Lam: My first impression coming into the league was that there were only two clubs that would fight for titles (Kitchee and South China). I was surprised by the ability of smaller clubs to pull off some impressive results. Things have changed now in the past seasons leading up to this one, where there will be a number of clubs vying for the titles with a great amount of financial backing supporting these clubs.
FF: At Kitchee SC you play under manager José Molina who was a Goalkeeper in his playing days. Is he different because of that fact? Are there any particular traits that differentiate him from your previous coaches who were not goalkeepers?
ML: I don't see much difference between the coaches I have had that were top players compared to a top goalkeeper. There really isn't anything in the way that Coach Molina coaches that makes you think he was a goalkeeper in his playing days. The mentality is very professional and you can see that he has played a the highest of levels.
FF: If you could invite 4 footballers from any era to have dinner with, which 4 would you invite?
ML: Zidane, Bergkamp, Ronaldinho, Pirlo.
FF: You are only 24 years old, but if you had to point to the most successful event in your football career so far, which would it be?
ML: I take great pride in being a part of the Ajax youth academy. With so much history and so many incredible players to have come out of that system it was an honor to play there. But my most recent success of winning the Hong Kong league title is my first Championship as a first team professional. Also, being one of only three teams to have won the league undefeated was fantastic.
FF: Who was the funniest footballer you ever played with? Why was he funny?
ML: I have played with many funny players, I really could not say who the funniest was. There are always one or two in a squad that can have you in stitches.
FF: If you could play for any club in the world, which would it be?
ML: Real Madrid. They have been my favorite club for as long as I can remember.
FF: Being from Edmonton, Canada and having played for FC Edmonton, are you a fan of any of the current Canadian MLS teams?
ML: I follow the leagues quite closely still and keep in contact with a few former teammates that are playing back in North America. I always hope the Canadian teams do well.
FF: When it comes to football, do you have any rituals or superstitions? If no, what was the strangest one you’ve seen with a teammate?
ML: I have one very small, I guess ritual you could call it. For my socks, shoes and shin-pads, the right one must always go on first. So, I start with the right sock then left, right shoe then left, right pad then left. I don't know why but you will never see me putting on anything left first haha.
FF: Do you follow sports other than football? If yes, who is your favorite team or athlete in that sport?
ML: I follow a bunch of different sports. Basketball, american football, ice hockey, golf, tennis even some baseball. My favorite sports team is Real Madrid but my favorite athlete is Roger Federer.
FF: Since we are in a World Cup year, what is your favorite FIFA World Cup memory?
ML: Since I am half Dutch I was cheering for them the whole way through. I remember not being able to control myself when Netherlands managed to beat Mexico in the dying minutes of the match.
FootyFair would like to thank Matthew Lam for taking the time to answer our questions and we wish him all the best in his football career.