China to train next generation of footballers

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China to train next generation of footballers

The World Cup has kicked off, and once again China won’t be taking part. Chinese coaches are trying to train the next generation of players, but say they face many challenges. ICS reporter Wu Yina reports.

China to train next generation of footballers

China to train next generation of footballers

The World Cup kicks off this week, and once again China won't be taking part. Chinese coaches are trying to train the next generation of players, but say they face many challenges. ICS reporter Wu Yina has more.
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15-year-old Huang Zhengfei has been playing soccer since he was six. Shanghai Lucky Star Football Club spotted him in Wuhan, and brought him to Shanghai to train. He goes to school during the day, and practices for up to two hours a day after classes. He says the coaching he gets here is much better than what was available in Wuhan.

Another player at the club comes from England, and says he wants to return home to train so one day he might get the chance to play with Manchester United. Currently, the club has 800 young kids playing the game at more than 10 schools. It is one of the few clubs in the city aiming to train young kids and try to lead them to a professional career. The city’s biggest team, Greenland Shenhua, recently bought 22 players from the club.

All 22 of the players are trying out with Shanghai Greenland Shenhua for a chance to play in the Chinese Super League. And the former Shenhua player who coaches them says training young kids is key to promoting the development of Chinese football. Schools and parents are a big problem for coaches.

In cities outside Shanghai, the situation is better, but many parents in big cities like Shanghai won’t allow their children to play football. I think this is wrong, because football is the major sport around the world. Those parents think that their children may feel tired, but they don’t realize their children will find happiness in playing football.