Michael Glassock is no stranger to adversity.
The 20-year-old spent the better part of nine years within the Central Coast Mariners Academy system, making over 70 combined appearances for the club’s NPL and Y-League sides in the quest for A-League football.
But while his appointment as Y-League captain for the 2019 season suggested the potential for first-team inclusion, Glassock was left “extremely frustrated”, as an A-League berth with his hometown club failed to materialise.
“I devoted a lot of my time and life to the club. I was born and bred there, so I felt I had something to offer, so that was disappointing.”
As is increasingly the trend for youngsters bereft of opportunities down under, an ambitious Glassock set his sights abroad. In July of last year, the central defender found an unlikely home in his hunt for first-team football, inking a deal with Hong Kong Premier League side Pegasus FC.
While Glassock had arguably been a victim of misfortune in his time in Gosford, snubbed for A-League opportunities despite the Mariners’ shambolic defensive record, the circumstances under which he secured his move to Hong Kong were comparatively advantageous.
Speaking on FNR’s Aussies Abroad show, Glassock revealed that Pegasus allowed him “the opportunity to go over there without a trial.” The significance of such a show of faith by his new side wasn’t lost on the 20-year old, who described the rapid progression of his move to Pegasus as “a pretty special and surreal moment.”
While many a promising youngster would be perturbed by the prospect of tackling football in a foreign country, Glassock asserts that the move to South East Asia has been a beneficial one for him both on and off the field.
“It’s been the best learning experience.”
“I’ve been able to challenge myself and see where I’m at in terms of both football and [as] a person.”
In region currently rife with protest and urban unrest, issues beyond the beautiful game has made it an intriguing experience for Glassock.
“I experienced it first-hand last week when I was just walking the streets with a couple of my mates who came over, Charles Lokolingoy and Ben Van Meurs who are also here playing in Hong Kong.
“We were actually sprayed by tear gas. That was a bit of a wake-up call. Just out walking on a Sunday afternoon, a police officer decided to spray a bit of tear gas and we’ve had to run.
“The competition’s had 2 or 3 games postponed already due to situation. The season almost doesn’t feel like it’s started because we haven’t had that consistency of games.
“It’s a different situation but we’re trying our best to not get too involved in it.”
Whilst these political tensions have made the adjustment to life in the a tenuous task at times, Glassock takes solace in the fact that he shares the experience with his fellow Aussie expatriates.
“I actually room with Charles, he’s in the Pegasus team with me. Ben Van Meurs at Tai Po, and Travis Major and Jared Lum – we’ve had a few chats and hung out a few times.
“It certainly helps you a little bit with a bit of an Aussie contingent over here to settle in a little bit more.”
Above all else, Glassock is just glad to be receiving a regular run in a senior set-up, having featured in 6 games so far this season for Hong Kong Pegasus. The side currently sit 7th in the Premier League.
Aussies Abroad airs every Monday at 7pm AEDT, hosted by Josh Parish, Damian Davies, and Nick Rupolo. Tune in live on http://www.footballnationradio.com, on Facebook Live, Periscope, or via the FNR App.
Listen to our full interview with Pegasus defender Michael Glassock below: