Soccer school in Holland to open for Chinese players

Updated: 2015-01-28 21:01

By Qiu Quanlin in Guangzhou(Xinhua)

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In a fresh move to promote the development of China's youth soccer, Chinese real estate developer Evergrande Group announced on Wednesday that it will open a soccer school in the Netherlands.

It was the group's second overseas outreach, following the opening of a similar school in Madrid, Spain, last year.

"A growing number of young Chinese players will be selected to receive focused and professional soccer training in Holland, which will play a vital role in helping China become a power in the sport," said Liu Jiangnan, executive president of Evergrande Football School.

Young players selected for the camp will come from a talent pool of 3,000 students at Evergrande Football School, which was established in Qingyuan, Guangdong province, two years ago.

The Dutch branch school was a cooperative project between Evergrande and Cruyff Football, a soccer training organization created by the legendary Dutch player and coach Johan Cruyff.

Students will receive training under the Total Football theoretical and field regimes, which have also been adopted by European giants Ajax and Barcelona.

"We will also send teachers to Holland to ensure students' academic performance," said Liu, adding the branch school will open in September.

Evergrande's efforts have proved efficient, with six students from the soccer school being included in the national junior team, according to Liu.

The company's growing moves in youth soccer are in tune with nationwide efforts to promote soccer development by expanding the talent pool, said Liu.

Last year, Chinese Super League champion Guangzhou Evergrande signed an agreement with a provincial soccer administrative center to develop training camps in amateur sports schools.

The Ministry of Education, in cooperation with other several authorities and the Chinese Football Association, has established a work group for youth soccer development, planning to develop soccer specialties at 20,000 primary and secondary schools by 2017, up from the current 5,000.

"Soccer is one of the sports that can help boost spiritual strength for students," said Wang Dengfeng, director of the PE, health and art department of the Ministry of Education.

According to Wang, the ministry will issue a series of measures to assess students' comprehensive quality, in which the soccer skills will be included.

"Students with good soccer skills will be prioritized in terms of assessment of their school performance and enrollment," Wang was quoted as saying by Southern Metropolis Daily.