He probably didn’t know what to expect when he boarded the plane from Nigeria to Slovakia for his first test of professional football at Slovakian top division side AS Trencin last year. Fast forward to 2018 and the name Hillary Gong is a household name in Slovakia.
The Jos born winger took a while to settle into his new surroundings upon his arrival at Trencin from the popular GBS Academy of Jos in Nigeria, where his obvious qualities didn’t get him into any professional football club in Nigeria despite growing up in Plateau state Nigeria, home of the champions of the Nigeria Professional Football League Plateau United.
Jos is also the home of three other professional teams in Nigeria during the formative years of Gong but none of the trio of the now defunct JUTH FC, Giwa FC or even the famous Mighty Jet spotting his talents before the eagle eyes of Ahmed Ibrahim (Coach Bros) of the GBS Academy spotted his talent.
He played just twice last season which was his debut season as a professional footballer but he showed the talent the world is admiring now with a goal and an assist from just two league games.
At the start of this season many expected the other Nigerian at the club Philip Azango , who is more famous following stints with two professional teams in Nigeria in Nasarawa United and Plateau United to be the star at the club but it’s the less illustrious Hong that is now the talk of Slovakia.
Ten goals in all competitions (8 in the league & 2 in Cup games) spiced up with ten assists has announced him to top clubs in Europe with Anderlecht currently in a bidding war with fellow Belgium side Gent to price him from the Slovakian for a princely sum which many speculate could be in excess of €5m, which will amount to good business for the Slovak considering the fact that they signed the 19 year old was for free a little over a year ago.