The Best Amateur Football Club in Shanghai

Shanghai Lions Football Club

The Shanghai Lions were founded in 1996 by Brian Mcloskey and consisted of one multi- cultural football team playing in the first Shanghai International Football League [SIFL] which started at the same time. In the early years most of the games were played far away in Tianma. In the early years, we won 4 SIFL titles, 2 SIFL Cup & 1 Hebiguchi Cup. In 2003 the Lions decided to start their own league closer to home in Jinqiao Pudong Kelly Jacobson started the Shanghai Premier League [SPL]. When Brian Mcloskey left China, Freek Boelen who was already managing the SPL took over the management of the Lions. In 2010, came up the idea to merge the Lions with French "Les Bleus" a French team and it proved being a great move forward as we were now able to play in both SPL & SIFL. For the first time we start to call ourselves a football Club! We found a full size 11 aside training pitch in Puxi and started to have serious training. The hard work paid off as both Lions teams performed well in these 2 leagues. When the SPL Veteran League started, we built our third team named "Legends" for players over 35. It became an instant success as we had a great group of older player and started to win titles in the veteran league as well. The Legends became a very important part of our Club and until today it is the fastest growing segment. A few years back we founded our Young Lions for U19 players who like to get a taste of Senior Football.

What started as one football team now consist of a group of over 80 players from 16 years old to over 50 year old from all over the world. We have broken a few records along the way and won the SIFL Championship in the last 4 years and just clinched our 10th SPL title out of 12 years SPL history ! Our aim is to leave a Lions footprint while we are still in China. We like to play good football and win trophies at the same time. Fair play is also important to us and last season we won the SIFL fairplay Cup! Last but not least, we were voted “Best Shanghai Sports Team” by That’s Magazine thru public vote in 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013 !

How do we see the Lions 5 years from now ? Hopefully we will get an opportunity to have our own clubhouse/field and hopefully having a large youth division. We plan to make the Shanghai Lions a global brand by organizing soccer games for the Lions who have left China. So Shanghai Lions FC Europe and Shanghai Lions FC USA here we come !!!

If you are interested to be part of our ambitions please contact us at

Freek Boelen
Shanghai Lions FC President


Teams Summary

Senior SIFL league (Saturday): The SIFL is the oldest and most competitive Football League in Shanghai with 20 teams competing for the Championship each year. Teams are from all over the world several Chinese Teams are participating as well. Players are aged 18-35 years old. Last season we won the Championship for the fourth time in a row ! Most of our games we play at the Shanghai Community Sport Club in Waigaoqiao. On Saturdays the SCSC is packed with people active in a variety of Sports.

Senior SPL league (Sunday): The SPL was founded 13 years ago and is one of the only Sunday Leagues in Shanghai. This season they will have 10 teams from all over the world competing for the Championship. Players are aged 18-35 years old. The SPL teams play on the best grounds of Shanghai

  1. Jinqiao Biyun Road field (Goldenbridge Field)
  2. Century Park Puma field
  3. SCSC Waigoaqiao

Veteran league (Sunday): We play in the SPL Veteran League held at SCSC. Total 10 teams take part and you need to be aged above 35 to play. We have won the league twice & we also take part in Veteran Tournaments which are very popular in Asia such as the Shanghai Masters Cup which we won three times.

Youth team (Tuesday): Currently our youth players aged 15-19 are training every Tuesday together with our senior players. If we have enough players we will join the SPL U19 and SPL U16 league.



  • 8 x SIFL Champions
  • 4 x SIFL CUP winners
  • 2 x Hebiguchi Cup winners
  • 10 x SPL Champions
  • 6 x SPL CUP winners
  • 3 x Shanghai Masters winners
  • 4 x Shanghai Summer 7’s winners
  • We also won international amateur tournaments in Phuket, Hangzhou and Xiamen

New player in town? JOIN US!!!

Overall, we're “New Player” friendly as we have various football level option to offer. If you’re interested, please drop us an email with a short description of your football background and motivations to join us.

Ajisen Ramen


Lions FC is partnering up with Ajisen Ramen (味千拉面/味千拉麵), famous Japanese ramen noodle soup chain, here in Shanghai! 

Since its inception, Ajisen Ramen has made significant headway into the Chinese market, especially in Shanghai, where it has 132 locations.

St. James's Place Wealth Management


Lions FC is pleased to announce that with the help of Daniel Isaac we have entered a partnership with St James’s Place. They are one of the leading Wealth Management Companies around the globe based in London. We will organize events for the Lions where they can get free advice about investments and wealth management. We like to build a good and solid future for the Lions FC together with St. James's Place.

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