Manchester becomes training ground for football coaches from China

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-07-13 10:06

LONDON - A group of 57 coaches from China have headed to one of the epicenters of English football in the drive to help raise the level of the game in China.

The senior level Chinese football coaches have arrived in Manchester, home of top premier league clubs Manchester United and Manchester City. They have enrolled on a 12-week quality training and management program.

The new program is being run by The University of Manchester and the Manchester Football Association.

The coaches will be taking study trips to St George's Park, the home of the Manchester City and Manchester United training complexes and attending the FA Community Shield at the start of the 2017-18 football season.

A spokesman for the University of Manchester said China's soccer reform "will require a huge increase in the number of trained coaches, so the new program run by The University of Manchester and the Manchester Football Association is part of a high-level drive to learn from the rest of the world and achieve this dream."

Group co-ordinator, Deng Shijun said: "Since we arrived at the University of Manchester the students have adapted to life here. Thank you to the Manchester Football Association and The University of Manchester for providing us with good learning and living conditions. At the same time, we have had excellent lecturers for each class, and have benefited greatly from the general training."

The course is one of three in Britain for Chinese coaches this year, supported by the Chinese Consulate, and stems from the university's and city's links with China.

These ties were exemplified by Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Manchester in 2015 where he visited the National Graphene Institute and posed for a selfie with Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero at the Etihad.

Professor Clive Agnew, vice-president for Teaching, Learning & Students at the University of Manchester said: "The university's engagement with China has a long history and is extensive in its breadth.

"We value our Chinese students' and staffs' contributions to our campus, are continuing to build upon our research and business collaborations in China and are proud of our Confucius Institute based on our campus. Our support to the delivery of this football program is another strand to further develop our strong relationship with China."

Colin Bridgford, CEO of Manchester Football Association said: "We are delighted to be supporting coaches from China, over an intense period of 12 weeks will we be providing a coaching education program with the key aim to make them 'Better Coaches'.

"The coaches will be undertaking their FA International Intermediate and also their FA International Advanced qualifications. In addition to the qualifications Manchester FA will be providing a unique insight into English football from grassroots to the professional game."

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