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Ingredients necessary for developing a World Cup Chinese Football team

Popularity 3Viewed 3400 times 2015-5-27 02:33 |Personal category:Sports|System category:Life| Chinese football, soccer, training, coaching, soccer fields

The Chinese are experts of the long game strategy and so a desire to play and win a World Cup needs to be supported by a strategy that can be expected to bear fruit in eighteen to twenty years should be exactly the type of strategy that is successful.  Why do I say eighteen to twenty years because that is how long it takes to develop a professional football player.

Cai Jianhua , the President of the Chinese Football Association, explained that “promoting young football talent is one of the principal points of the national football plan.  From now through 2020, the plan is for the total number of schools specialized in football to increase from the five thousand that exist today to at least twenty thousand and to reach fifty thousand by 2025.”

But to do that effectively the Chinese system will need to do several things.  One of the things the country will need to do is import top coaching talent from Europe and Latin America to develop and train not just the players but more importantly local coaching talent.  If you want to increase the number of schools and academies by fifteen thousand in five years you are going to need at least two or three trained personnel per academy which means that thirty to forty five thousand trained coaches will need to prepared or imported.  Bad teachers will lead to bad players.  Quantity is not enough.  For the programs to succeed quality of training will be of utmost importance.

 In addition, China will need to build facilities that allow players not just to practice in small places and in parks but also to play the game as it is played at the professional level in full sized grass or turf fields.   Just as tennis players generally have a preferred playing surface such as grass, clay or hard surfaces such as asphalt because of the way the ball bounces and travels; football players must also to be successful play on the different surfaces in the full size versions available so as to learn and become familiar with the way the ball moves and bounces on the different surfaces.

Finally developing and growing a professional league is helpful; however a professional league can end up having a lot of international talent that although of interest to aficionados does not help when it is time to play in a World Cup.  A successful professional league can generate interest in a sport; but if opportunities for domestic players over eighteen are not there; China will end up squandering the work it has done at the younger age groups.  A classic example of this is the English Premier league which has recently decided that it needs to further reserve opportunities for its own domestic players to develop as even though the league is one of the two top leagues in the world that has not helped England when it is time to play for the World Cup.

Here is hoping China can find, balance and develop all the necessary elements for it to advance in the global sport of football.


(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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