English Premier League coaches to aid China’s soccer goal

Updated: 2015-12-02 16:17

By Liu Jing(chinadaily.com.cn)

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English Premier League coaches to aid China’s soccer goal

Boys demonstrate soccer skills at opening ceremony of the R&F Soccer School in Meizhou, Guangdong province, September 19, 2013. The school, a joint project between Chinese Super League club Guangzhou R&F and English Premier giant Chelsea, has enrolled 140 students aged 8-12 this year[Qiu Quanlin/Asianewsphoto]

Young soccer players in Shanghai may soon get tips from coaches of major English Premier League clubs including Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.

A number of coaches have shown interest in extending their careers in China, with moderate or even low salary requirements, thepaper.cn, a Shanghai-based news portal reported.

Coaches from the three clubs appeared at the graduation ceremony of a program on soccer capital management at Shanghai Jiao Tong University last Friday.

"The coaches are positive about the future of Chinese soccer," said Matthew Forbes, Britain's deputy consul general in Shanghai.

Shanghai is one of the front runners in China's school soccer project with the city's education authority saying 280 primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities have joined municipal soccer leagues. It will also set up four training camps in each district for talented youngsters aged under 11, under 13, under 15 and under 17. The camps will recruit up to 3,000 players citywide.

To go hand in hand with the camps, four 25-member "elite soccer teams" will also be established in every district. Coaching teams, which may hire foreign staff, will include a technical director, chief coach, assistant coach and a goalkeeping coach.

A special fund will be allocated and each district government is required to contribute at least the same amount as the municipal government, the report said.

China rolled out an ambitious soccer reform plan earlier this year with nurturing young talent a key point. By 2017, some 20,000 schools will have new soccer pitches and training facilities, creating 100,000 new players.

After-school academies, set up by major European clubs and former international players, are springing up around the country. Retired Brazilian international Ronaldo Luis Nazario de Lima, known simply as Ronaldo during his playing days, has teamed up with Brazilian tycoon Carlos Wizard Martins, and in September announced that he plans to open 30 soccer schools in China.