Season 2017/18 has been a success

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successful season 2017-2018Dear Senior Lions, Lions Youth, Lions Legends, Lions Abroad, Friends and Family ! As a club we ended our season last weekend with our youth clinching the SPL U17 Title ! While we started as an expat team back in 1996, we’re certainly now a real family Club ! We have three strong sections representing the club at the highest competitive football level in Shanghai ! All of this contributed to make a successful season 2017-2018 ! Xie Xie

 

Youth Academy (SPL U17)

Let’s start with our Lions Youth first as they have the future ! We were asked to take over the Century Park Youth (above 14 years old) back in May 2017… From day 1, we were committed to make it happen as we already had a youth team for the older players.

We set up the Shanghai Lions Youth Academy and were happy to have Azzeddine and Nick taking up the coaching / training jobs ! We trained twice a week on Wednesday and Friday at the great 11 aside field of Concordia and played matches in the SPL U17 league on Saturdays. The commitment and hard work of our players at the training was outstanding and week after week our team got stronger and stronger. Suddenly, players from all over the world started to bond and what was crucial was that especially our older youth players started to feel responsible for the younger ones and they gave them great support and advice during the season !

This in the end resulted in success ! First we won the Aksil Cup beating the German in final on penalties ! It showed our never give up mentality ! In the SPL U17 league we were trailing from behind after two losses early in the season but week after week we got stronger and stronger. Therefore, when Wiss Stoke City slipped up against Ebbe Sand we knew that a win over Japan would give us the title ! We didn’t have to tell the young lions what was at stake as a large win sealed the deal and it was great end of a great season !

Matty got the SPL top scorer award with 19 goals and Julia picked up the Champions award as our captain ! Great team effort and great job from the coaches !

Golden Boot Award

  Name   Age PL GLS
Matthew Ward 14 7 19
Philipp Jobst 17 10 11
Victor Xavier Veloso 17 6 4
more stats

Youth Team Standing (Season 2017-2018)

 

First Team (SPL)

Next up are our Lions Senior players who played in the SPL, a competition we have won multiple times ! With the Cowboys and ERS having left the league, we knew that the Marlins will be our closest rival. Also, it was clear that we couldn’t afford any slip against other teams !

In the first half of the season we won all our games but when we were up against the Marlins for the first time on January 14 we got an important wake up call as we not only lost Azz by injury during the game but we lost the match without creating opportunities 4-0 ! The turn out of the training during the winter started to drop which was not a good sign.

Luckily, some of our Youth players were ready to help out and started to get more and more playing time in our first team. We had to wait until April 14 to have our second encounter against the Marlins a loss would end our hopes. With a 1-1 score line and with 15 minutes to go on the clock it was by goals of our youngsters Shingi and Matty that gave us a 3-1 win and kept us in the race.

So the Championship race came down to the final match of the season we needed a win as we tied on goal difference but had scored less goals. The Marlins took the title away from us in a well deserved 3-2 win ! We gave it all in the second half and showed great team spirit on and off the field ! We will try to get the title back next season and we know now that we cannot slip up after the Christmas break !

Golden Boot Award

  Name   Age PL GLS
Azzeddine Takouloufa 33 11 13
Romain & Jerome a Bloc Romain Haution 32 9 9
Shingai Nindi 19 7 9
more stats

First Team Standing (Season 2017-2018)

 

Veteran Team (SPL V)

Our Legends were in the race for the SPL V Championship which went to the Emeralds on previous season ! However this time Emerald slipped up twice losing against Japan and Scotland and we were in a very close race with Japan for the title. In our second last match we faced Japan and we needed a draw to clinch the title ! The match was nerve wrecking but our defensive strategy paid off as we made sure Japan couldn’t counter we even scored first with a fine strike of Laid. With great saves from our goalie Clement and solid defensive work we could keep Japan on hold but they got one goal back and the last 10 minutes were not for the faint hearted people ! The final whistle was a big relief and we could start the celebrations ! SPL V Champions !

Golden Boot Award

  Name   Age PL GLS
Frederic Guilloux 43 12 17
Nicolas Bouchou 40 10 7
Placeholder Gwendall Volant 38 6 5
more stats

Veteran Team Standing (Season 2017-2018)

 

Two Championship Titles and a Second place is a good result for the Club. A special thank you is well placed for the hard work Azzeddine and Nick have done to keep us fit and sharp and focused at the training ! The training were great week in and week out ! Of course we also like to thank Concordia for allowing us to use their great facilities as nothing better than to train at a full size 11 aside field ! Our website reached 2.5 M clicks this year which is an achievement in its own right. Big thank you for Francois keeping track of the site and statistics for the players ! Thank you Thomas Z for helping to coach the first team !

What was important this season was that we got several youth players making their debut in the senior first team and they did very well as well we got several senior players making their debut in the Legends team and they did well as well. This makes our club real and unique in Shanghai ! Lets keep supporting each other and make the Club stronger and stronger !

As every year,  a few players will leave us at the end of this season and we wish them good luck with their new life and ventures outside China. Now, we already managed to recruit a few new players on all three levels which is very important for the consistency of the teams in our Club !

 

We hope everybody will enjoy the World Cup and the Summer break and we are looking forward to see you all back in Shape in August ! Well done Lions Youth, Lions and Lions Legends !

 

Cheers
Freek

Lions Youth receive their SPL U17 trophy after a bowling event

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bowling eventWith the SPL U17 Championship won it was time to relax for our youth players and the coaches ! As the season ended late we decided to organize a bowling event on a weekday before everybody would take off for the Summer break !

The place was called Hao’s bowling and with a group of 16 people we were all set for a bowling competition. With 4 lanes and 4 teams of 4, we played two rounds. It was a fierce competition and various prices were up for grab. Every player had their own technique and style. It was fun to play and fun to watch !

Here are the prices won on the evening :

  1. First Spare round 1 – Max
  2. First Strike round 1 – Julia
  3. First Spare round 2 – Jonah
  4. First Strike round 2 – Philipp
  5. Second round highest team score – Andrea / Matty / Azz / Florian

Although there was no price for “the highest score on the day” it was worthwhile to mention that the honor went to Freek the oldest bowler with 145 points !

Afterwards we went for some great “bad” food at Fat Burgers and it was there the players received their trophies ! First it was Matty who got the SPL top scorer award with 19 goals and he thanked his team mates for helping him to score and after it was Julia as Captain who received the Championship trophy on behalf of the team ! She mentioned in her speech that it was hard in the beginning of the season when we lost two matches but after that we all played better and better and in the end got our reward ! Azzeddine and Nick and Freek were all thanked by the players for the hard work during the season and several players came up to speech which completed a great evening and a great season !

 

Well done Young Lions enjoy the break and we are looking forward to see you all back in August on the training field first !

 

Have a great Summer
Freek, Azz & Nick

Lions youth team win the SPL U17 league title

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SPL U17 leagueIt was our U17 team last match of the season which would decide who would be SPL U17 league champion this year ! A slip-up by Wiss Stoke City on Wednesday against Ebbe Sand gave the Lions an opportunity to clinch the title. As we were late in the season and the Concordia School was already closed we had to find an alternative playing field. Luckily, we could play at the facility at Luo Shan Road. The weather was great and the pitch was fine and foremost the Lions were very motivated and hungry for a good result against Japan our opponent.

[ YOUTH ] Japan FC 0 – 15 Shanghai Lions FC

From to start it was apparent that the Lions were not going to let this opportunity go and with good combination football and good build up they went for the goals. With the first half at 11-0 it was easy to make substitution and we could have all players plenty of playing time. The icing on the cake was a goal by Paul who claims he can only shoot with his left foot but scored his first Lions goal with his right in the Championship match ! When the final whistle came the celebrations started and we had to the chance to take some great pictures ! These pictures will be great memories of a great team in Shanghai !

It surely was not easy to win the title but from the beginning, back in August 2017, we knew that by hard work at the training and by commitment from the players we could improve the players and our team. Especially the physical training from Nick combined with the more tactical training from Azzeddine proved to be a perfect combination for the players. We could see them grow in confidence, fitness, team work, fighting spirit, team play, technical skills all the ingredients we need to be able to make it as into a Champion ! We also got great support from the parents especially on the communication with the coaches it helped us a lot. Of course all the parents who came out to watch the matches we like to thank them as their support really helped our players !

 

We’d like to congratulation all the players who have contributed to the Lions Youth throughout the whole season. You have been outstanding and it was a great pleasure for the Coaches to work with you ! We wish everybody a great summer holiday break and we wish Julia good luck in the USA ! We hope to see you all back in August in Shanghai !

 

Cheers
A very happy Freek !

Legends pick their 2017 SPL Veteran championship trophy

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SPL VeteranFor our Lions legends, it was the last performance of the season in SPL Veteran league with the end of the season 7 aside tournament followed by the award ceremony. We had a great squad and motivation was high to try and win the tournament. Our strategy was laid out by the coach and we all agreed clean sheets first as matches were just 12 minutes each so to concede first it would be the end of the glory !

  • We won our first match 1-0 by a great strike of Kevin who gladly made his come back after falling ill a few months ago !
  • In our second game we did manage our clean sheet but we failed to score !
  • Our third match would be the decider to make it to the final match we were up against the Cowboys a solid 7 aside experienced local team. We did play well and got most of the possession and had a brilliant combination in midfield setting up Laid to tip in the goal but just one big Chinese toe stood in the way to block it ! in the last 30 seconds we give the ball away by accident and the Cowboys took the gift 1-0 loss.
  • For the rest of the tournament we just enjoyed the friendship with other teams and players in the league as its amazing to see so many players of over 35 still enjoy the game of football !

 

SPL VeteranSo our Legends won the SPL V league this season as you can see from the standing it was very very hard this year ! It was a great performance which came down to the last match against Japan which they needed to win and the Lions had enough to draw it was 1-1 in the end ! ! Amazing team performance ! So we picked up the Cup but also two more awards. Top scorer of the SPL V was Bob with 17 goals ! As well best goalie award which of course will be for both Pascal and Clement !

 

Every year will be harder and harder to win this Championship as the level of the Veteran League is getting better and better ! So we will try to keep the title next season ! See you all at the training during the summer at Century Park !

 

Cheers
Freek

Lions lose to Marlins in SPL Championship final

[ SPL ] Shanghai Lions FC 2 – 3 Shanghai Marlins FC

SPL ChampionshipFor this SPL Championship game final, the setting was perfect with a beautiful pitch and good weather as it was not too hot to play ! We had a large Lions squad and a good mix of young talented youth players mixed with senior and experienced senior players. We were happy as well to have DimDim defending our goal on the day. The Marlins our rival and opponent were equal on points and equal on goal difference but they had scored three goals more than us and we conceded three goals less so the rule is that goals scored prevails over the conceded once so it meant that we had to win the match as a draw was not enough. Our game plan was to try to keep it 0-0 as long as we could and push hard in the later part of the game.

In the first 15 minutes it worked as with only Shingi and Romain upfront and the Marlins sitting back it was easy to keep possession. After that we lost our composure as our defense line was too deep and our forwards too far forward which created space in the midfield for the Marlins. It was a very unlucky bounce of the ball right in front of Dim which destroyed our game plan after 20 minutes as the Marlins took the lead. When after a foul on Azz the referee didn’t give a free kick and we thought Marlins would stop the game as Azz was injured we were switched off and the Marlins made it 2-0 !

At half time we realized it was no point to look back on what happened but instead we had 45 minutes left to come back. We let two more youngster play Matty and Philipp and with Terao in the midfield we were looking for a break through. It came after a good counter attack on the left finished with no hesitation by Conway. As we needed to push forward it also give long ball counter opportunities for the Marlins and it was one of those that destroyed our ambitions. However even at 3-1 down we still kept fighting and it was Jack with a good header from an Azz free kick which made it 3-2 ! Soon Azz set up Matty who made a great run but he just couldn’t get the ball under control enough to shoot !

When the final whistle came we all agreed the Marlins deserved the title and we congratulated them. We know we messed up in the first half but we also know that we showed amazing team and fighting spirit in the second half ! Although we lost the match and we lost the title we won as club as the amount of legends, family and friends who came to watch and support was incredible, esp Max who came on crutches and Kevin who missed most of the season due to a health issue showed to true lions spirit !

 

Proud to be a Lion and for next season we are already motivated to get the SPL title back !

 

Cheers
Freek

Young Lions beat Stoke City 5-2

[ YOUTH ] Shanghai Lions FC 5 – 2 WISS Stoke City FC Academy

Stoke CityThe weather was great and the pitch was great at Concordia for our youth match against Stoke City !

Stoke started strong and played high pressing it caused us some problems in our build up but thanks to Sam our goalie we kept zero. It was a free kick by Philipp that was to powerful for the Stoke keeper that gave us the 1-0 lead. Five minutes before half time Yusuke had a great low strike to make it 2-0 !

In the second half Stoke showed character and managed to get back in the game by their striker Tomassi 2-1 but soon the Lions scored after a fast counter on the right flank which was well finished by Victor our Brazilian winger to make it 3-1. Stoke came back again but this time the Lions responded in two minutes as Matty back from injury made it 4-2 ! At this stage the lions dominated the game and could have scored a few more goals but it was Yusuke second goal which made it to the final score 5-2 ! The young lions worked hard during this game and showed good team work and discipline !

At the end we had a moment to say good bye to Shingi who graduated and is on his way to the USA for his future life ! We will miss him for sure and thanked him for the role model he was for the team and we hope the young players learned from his mentality and passion for the sport !

 

Great game and great performance from the Young Lions !

 

Well Done !
Freek

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