Looking to the future

Some children are clearly very talented. “Of course, not every girl or boy will remain loyal to football. We understood that very quickly. You always have children with more talents and those with fewer,” Dennis Spiegel The coaches of the “Chinese Sports Strategists” spent two months in the Changzhou region. Philosophies clashed, discussions were held, concepts created and training carried out. But in the end everyone agreed that the test phase of the programme was a complete success. “We managed the two months very well. Everyone is satisfied,” says Project Manager Jianbo He. “This is a very good chance for further cooperation.”

A complete success

The coaches, too, can look back on the past months with pride. Despite some adverse circumstances, they have managed to find a connection between the different training methods – and the results are impressive. “We conducted fitness and technical skills tests at the beginning and again at the end,” reports Dennis Spiegel. “The tests showed that the children made huge improvements in terms admits. Nevertheless, the children have a good founding in the sport. Marco Almeida saw in his group about “six girls with a natural, higher level of talent. And we had another ten or twelve kids with very good skills.” It is now very important to continue their development. “We have a lot of quality here.”

The foundation has been laid

“Continuity” and “sustainability” are now the buzzwords that should take the promotion of junior football in Changzhou to the next level. “We cannot achieve miracles in two months. But we have implemented a new concept and that is a big step forward,” reiterates Gazmend Xhepa. It is now important that this concept is also continued by the local coaches. But the basis is now there, unlike before. “At the end of our cooperation we realised that more coaches are needed. For example, there were no goalkeeping coaches in the beginning, but now two have been added to the team. An assistant coach is still needed – and one’s not enough, but we will build up gradually,” Jianbo He sums up.

The next steps have already been taken. “Changzhou is building a youth academy here. It will be quite big, with six standard pitches and two for eight-a-side matches. In addition, there is a separate building for fitness,” says the project manager. “This is completely new and will probably be completed next April.” Furthermore, the exchange programme should be further promoted. “We also suggested that we, together with the Chinese coaches, could visit the centre in Shanghai or Germany. But that’s still a long way off.” Dreams that might become reality soon…