Lions beat Japan 5-1 in a friendly match !



Playing at 4’o clock didn’t help as it was sizzling hot 35 degrees and no cooling breeze to be found. We got a good bunch of Lions some old (Garret) and some new ! Some arrived late blaming the traffic however a recent survey on traffic in China pointed out that the traffic in Shanghai over the last three months was the worst in China even worse than Beijing.

Japan is always a good opponent for friendlies as they never stop running. In the end over the 3 x 30 minutes we managed to score 5 goals and gave one to the Japanese.


After the game we were off to celebrate Azzedine’s 30th birthday and looking at the Lions turn out at Muse on the Bund we don’t have to worry about our team spirit ! Great Party and thanks goes to Big Johns help who unfortunately couldn’t attend due to his knee injury !


Next will be a special training session this Saturday for now its planned at Century Park from 1000-1200. A World Champion Taekwondo  will teach the lions some Martial Art Secrets which we can use during our tough season ahead of us. Don’t miss this unique experience.


On Sunday we booked the Jinqiao field from 1400-1600 for a training for youth and veterans but senior players who like to get in shape and put some extra work on are more than welcome to join !


On the weekend of 6 and 7 September we will have the Lions Cup and the Shanghai Masters !


It’s great to be a Lion ! Cheers Freek


SPL is looking good this season number 12 !

Amigo’s and Amiga’s,


Welcome back to everybody hope you all had a great summer break ! Talking about summer it’s hard to believe we didn’t have a summer in Shanghai. Any way it’s better to have all the rain now than during our season.


We have worked hard behind the scenes to get your season ready and we are pleased to send you the new Captains List if any information is lacking or is incorrect please drop us an email so we can correct it.


We are pleased to inform you that we extended our cooperation with our three venues for next season and we are excited to be able to play on the best fields in Shanghai. (Century Park / Jinqiao Golden Bridge / SRFC) / We will send you a rule and regulation of each venue and strongly ask you the respect these rules !


The league fee is set at 23000 rmb for the season which is unchanged from last season.


Our first SPL round will be on September the 14 and we urge all teams to be ready for that date.  Even if teams are ready on September the 7th we could organize a match game as the fields are available and in perfect shape.


The dates will be Sept 14/21 – Oct 12/19/26 – Nov 2/9/16/23/30 – Dec 7 and maybe Dec 14 for the first part of the season.


Yamada-san will finalize the match schedule and if you have one date you cannot play please advise it to him asap so that he can adjust the schedule upfront.


We are glad that Mika will help us on the website and if you like to change your team profile on the site / ps send him your new information Mikael Martins


We are glad that Simon will help us out on the admin site and pr site of the league.


We have created a lot of goodwill during our special Mini-World Cup event and we like to build on it so that more people hear about the SPL and more spectators will come and watch our games. Always remember that you are the SPL and our reputation is in your hands or feet.


Let’s together make it our best season ever !


Cheers Freek SPL President on behalf of the SPL Committee

Lions U18 Boys and U18 Girls training schedule !

Young Lions,


We are glad to announce that we managed to book the great Century Park Football Park for our Young Lions trainings. For the exact address please see our website under “our fields”. The boys will train on Wednesday from 1800-2000 and the girls will train on Fridays from 1800-2000 / The trainings will start on September 10 and last until December 12 with a break during the October holiday.


The trainings will be held by experienced coaches who all are part of the Lions FC and will focus on all aspects of modern football. Fitness, strength, power, speed, skill and teamwork will a come into play during the sessions.


We plan to have an introduction training open to all youth players on Friday 29th of August on that day you can also register for the season and fill in the registration forms.


If you are between 15-18 years old and interested please contact / attention Freek/Azzedine

Pre season program kicked off with the first training !


It is indeed a strange summer this year the temperatures are nowhere near last season’s record highs. Last season we were grasping for air and water during our boot camp with 38 degrees celcius. Yesterday it was cool and raining and with a lot of people still on leave we had a reasonable turn out of young and old. Azzedine did a perfect job to make everybody at ease and selected some simple but efficient drills. All in all a good start to the new season.

This Saturday we will play a friendly versus Japan 4 to 6pm at SRFC Waigaoqiao / ps register on line / if you are new send an email to our management.

The week after we will have training sessions both on Sat.and Sunday 10am-12am at Jinqiao / Dulwich and one of them including a Martial Art session by a Taekwondo 9th time World Champion and black belt is 4 other Martial Arts…! All this is for our preparation for the Shanghai Master Veteran Tournament and our own second edition of the Lions Cup.

Azzeddine and Charles have done a tremendous job on the organization of the Lions Cup and managed to get 20 teams (+ 2 on the waiting list) to participate, including teams from Xiamen, Kunming, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, etc.. !

Meanwhile we have still two more Wednesdays to go in the Lions Summer 7’s, the Semis and Finals, which is just a great way to stay fit during the Summer.

During last week game Big John unfortunately hurt his knee. we hope it is nothing serious and we wish him a speedy recovery. Let’s hope to see him back on the field with us soon !

Keep training Lions ! Cheers Freek

Article about Corruption in the Chinese Super League

Former England international goalkeeper, Ian Walker played for Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City and Bolton Wanderers. He is now goalkeeper coach of Shanghai Dongya. InWalks the Walk he talks football and China.

The first time I thought something was up was back in 2012 as we approached the end of the season during my first year coaching at Shanghai Shenhua. We were playing away to a local rival. It was 2-2, and both their goals came from penalties. Both dubious at best. Something just wasn’t right. Either the referee was really bad, or he was corrupt. Because to me, it was blatant.

I was peeved off to be honest. You work hard all week to win the game, and then it gets taken away just like that. You feel powerless – there is absolutely nothing you can do. Why the hell are we bothering when things like this can happen?

After that, there was probably another three or four games that season where you felt things weren’t right. Mainly penalties. We had a lot of penalties against us. Sometimes you think it could have been a penalty, but a lot of the time there was simply no way. Somebody’s just slipped over in the box and the ref has given it. No one has touched the player.

The funny thing is, one year later we returned to this same local rival. We drew 2-2, their goals were both penalties and both were dodgy. No way! Things cannot happen this way. It just felt ridiculous. It just can’t carry on like this. It’s crazy.

It is telling that I first observed it late in my first season. In a team meeting, one of my fellow coaches had warned us it was imperative we avoided being in the relegation dogfight once we approached the run-in: “When the season gets to 10 games to go, there are certain teams at the bottom of the league who will all of a sudden start getting results,” he explained.

Maybe they’ve just got little alliances. Maybe someone owes them a favor – we’ll let you win in the cup for three points in the league. Sure enough, that is exactly what started happening. Teams that had been getting beaten week in, week out suddenly hammering a top four team 4-1. (I could name names…)


It went in our favor at Shenhua once, too. The league was tight: a couple of wins could have put us top four; a couple of defeats and relegation would be a very real prospect. We weren’t playing well and everyone was getting a bit nervous. And then all of a sudden there was a tussle in the box and the referee gave us a penalty.

Even when it goes your way, for your team, you think that is a bit soft. A bit dodgy. So anyway, we score, we end up winning the game, and we’re safe. You’re still not 100 percent sure, but it doesn’t sit well. You certainly don’t want to win that way.

This was when Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka were in the team, and they were both shocked by it. You can see the opposition foreign players’ reactions to it too. They look at you and you’re like, “Yeah, I know.” When it happens against you… you can’t really console those on the receiving end. It can really devastate the players who are not used to it.

It is weird when you come from playing in the English Premier League, where you like to think everything is straight. I can honestly say I never got the feeling that anything was ever fixed in the EPL.

That is not to say it doesn’t happen in Europe. My only personal experience of it back there was when I was with Bolton playing in the group stages of the Europa League. We had leveled 1-1 with Seville, a result that would take us both through, and their coach ran round the back of our dugout to our coach gesticulating (not particularly subtly) that we should both settle for the draw – no more goals.

Our coach would never allow that to happen. That is not the English mindset. Which is why I think people like our league. But it is also worth noting it wasn’t the referee, it wasn’t the players It was just their coach. And it was strange to us.

I’m happy to say the same goes for the club I’m at now, Shanghai Dongya (or Shanghai East Asia as we are also known). The manager is old school, straight up, and he won’t have any of it. Wherever we end up, he does everything honestly. It’s probably the best way.

As for how engrained it is, I can’t say.

You just never know what forces are behind the whole thing. It could be people being bunged envelopes for a quick, corrupt fix of cash. But then you hear about places like Malaysia and their infamous betting syndicates, and stories about some heavy people behind it. I can only speculate at the full story, what pressure is being put on people.

All I can hope is that the CFA continues to do what they can to clamp down on it – they’ve even put people in prison, so they’re certainly addressing it.

Because ultimately, if it isn’t a level playing field, if the game is fixed, why play?

Lions FC is looking for another great football season !

Old, New, Young Lions !


We hope that everybody could enjoy the summer break and could recharge themselves for a new football season in Shanghai !

The management have been busy over the summer and some players who stayed behind are enjoying the Lions Summer 7’s each Wednesday at our training ground. Training in the hot and humid weather is a challenge but it surely keeps you fit and can give us an advantage over other teams in the early part of the season when they arrive unprepaired.


To prepare ourselves well for the new season we have established a super program where everybody is welcome to join.


17th August Lions Boot Camp 1000-1200 at Jinqiao (we are waiting for the schools confirmation) Senior/Veterans and Youth are all welcome to join.

23 August Lions – Japan friendly match for Seniors 1600-1800 at SRFC Waigaoqiao

30 August Lions Boot Camp 1000-1200 at Jinqiao everybody welcome

31 August Lions Boot Camp 1000-1200 at Jinqiao everbody welcome

6  September Lions Cup 7 aside (16 teams for all over China + abroad) second edition

6-7 September Shanghai Masters / Veteran Tournament

13 September SIFL opening tournament


We are excited for the new season and having won both the SPL and SIFL two consecutive times in a row and the fact that in the both leagues we are still on an unbeaten record run we like to put emphasis on FITNESS for the new season. In todays football you can see that fitness is getting more and more important. The world cup was a clear showcase how fit some of the world best players are as many games were decided in the last minutes where teams still could give that extra effort and push. If we want to keep winning and enjoying playing football in Shanghai the fitness is the first thing we need to work on ! The second important factor we like to address is COMMITMENT. The more committed you are the more games we can win and the more we will enjoy playing as a team. As Management we are committed 110 pct and as Coaches/Trainers Azz and Simon (senior) and Adam/Freek/Garret (youth) are committed 110 pct we need 110 pct from you as player as well to be succesfull.

Commitment start with communicating through our website and attending the training and showing up on time for games and planning your schedules in busy Shanghai so that you don’t miss important games. Attending parties for our sponsor is also important ! One or two slip ups can cost us the title as we all know how hard it is to get the Championship each and every year ! This year it will be even harder so we need to prepare for it !


We will focus more on the youth development and will give them more playing time in senior games and youth players interested boys or girls 15-18 years old ps contact us on


We are looking forward to see many FIT and COMMITTED Lions in the new season !


GO Lions !!! GO !!


Freek Boelen / On behalf of Lions Management

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