Work Hard Play Hard: Fabian Kwok, marketing executive by day, footballer by night

In this month’s edition of Work Hard, Play Hard, FourFourTwo caught up with Hougang United midfielder Fabian Kwok to find out more about his day job as a marketing executive even as he continues to play professional football...

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Look up Fabian Kwok on Youtube and chances are you'll come across a number of his wonder goals - including a jaw-dropping effort from the halfway line slightly over two years ago.

But Kwok has also been making a name for himself in a totally different field, while he continues to play professional football.

Once his daily shift at Komoco ends, the 28-year-old scoots off to Hougang Stadium to join his Cheetahs team-mates for football training.

As a marketing executive for Komoco Motors - a vehicle distributor company  Kwok has many roles, be it promoting cars through digital marketing, print advertisements or even handling roadshows.

But once his daily shift at Komoco ends at 4pm, the 28-year-old scoots off to Hougang Stadium to join his teammates for football training.

Kwok has been performing this juggling act for three years now and although his schedule has been daunting, he knew what he was signing up for.

“When I transferred to Tampines (in 2015), Mr Teo Hock Seng offered me this job. I was graduating, finishing my studies and I was looking for something more than just football,” Kwok told FFT.

Kwok (first from right) is determined to juggle football and work. Photo: Hougang United

Teo, affectionately known as the ‘Godfather’ of Singapore football, was the former chairman of Tampines Rovers and holds a position as the Group Managing Director of Komoco Holdings.

Along with Kwok, Teo gave job opportunities at Komoco to Joey Sim (now with Tampines Rovers), Ismadi Mukhtar (Tampines Rovers) and a handful of others, but only Sim and Kwok remain at Komoco.

“He gave me this option but of course he shared that if I wanted to do this, there were going to be sacrifices that I had to make,” Kwok recalled.

Kwok also insists that the balancing act hasn’t hampered his professional footballing career.

Kwok in action for Hougang. Photo: S.League

“There is not much social time as I work regular hours. After training from 7 to 8 and when I am at home, I don’t have time for other stuff too. But for me, it doesn’t affect football even though I know that these sacrifices need to be made,” he added.

The Cheetahs midfielder took the job so not to depend singlehandedly on his footballing career - especially given the instability of prospects as a footballer partly due to the short-term contracts local clubs dish out.

"What if I am playing football and I get injured during the year and no clubs want me? I won’t have anything to fall back on,” said Kwok. “We don’t earn crazy amounts to really be able to play football. I felt that solely playing football was not a risk worth taking.”

[NEXT: Aspirations for the future]