We were so happy to see most of our youth players back to training last Friday 🙂 Some parents even came out to support far away in Putuo!
We had a friendly match versus J-Academy and the pitch size was a bit strange as it was 9 vs 9 with 7 aside goals… However, the most important for us was the be able to be back on the field and smell the grass! We had 12 players with Mathew helping out as goalie as Koki is still in Japan and couldn’t come back. Kevin has a blister during the warming up so not a lot of options to change the team. We started well against Juventus and the game was tight for most of the time both sides had chances but missed the target no surprise after such a long time not being able to play! In the second half, we also played well but we could see the impact on our players of being at home and not being able to play for such a long time and Juventus seemed to be more fit and took advantage of that!
We will work on that in the coming weeks and will get the players back in shape and mentally good condition step by step as what is happening around the world, of course, has an impact on each and every one! As the Concordia field is not available and most schools are still closed we booked Qi Yi field for 8 weeks every Friday evening starting this Friday 1830-2030! Later when we see the development of the players we can add a second training day but we like to rebuild step by step! So we hope all our youth players will come to the training on Friday and we will help them to get back their fitness and positive mind!
We will look for friendly matches and if the schools would reopen we can also restart league matches! For the older youth, they can continue to train with the seniors and will be selected for senior matches! For the players who unfortunately could not make it back yet we hope you can all come back in the near future we are all waiting for you! For now, that’s Paris, Koki, Casey, Alvaro, Nikita.
Also, Yuma-san will not return because his parents moved back to Japan… Farewell, my friend! We will miss you very much! You are and will be an incredible player and remember “once a Lion always a Lion”! So good luck in Japan and anytime you are back in Shanghai you can play for the Lions!
See you all on Friday ! 18:30 at Qi Yi!
Freek, Nick, Pat & Azz
It was a beautiful day and we could play on a beautiful natural grass field with a great group of positive motivated youth, senior and legends Lions. We were all happy being back to business playing football as most countries are still in lockdown and stopped all the outdoor activities!
We played a friendly against Japan and we had 22 players signed up including three new players Pim from Holland, Haroun from France and Hiro-san from Japan. As Japan had a lot of players as well we opted for 4 x 30 minutes with Lions’ president taking the role of referee.
In the first 30 minutes, both Japan and the Lions played a bit conservative so the 0-0 scoreline was no surprise. In the second 30 minutes, Japan fielded a bit more older players whereas we had another mixed team with young and old. We managed to play well in the counter and got several opportunities. Philipp and Hiro-san scored to give the Lions a good 2-0 lead. In the next 30 minutes, Japan had his younger team out again and because we had a mixed team it caused us some problems to stop their fast and furious counters. Finally, they surprised our defense with a very quickly taken free-kick after a Jerome handball at the edge of the box. Right after, coach Pat made a change to take Jerome off and put FL in his place but they scored again. With their fast pace and quick movement, Japan managed to outplay us a couple of times and they took a 2-4 lead! After this we stepped up and controlled the game better and in the last 30 minutes our aim was to turn the game around and we tried hard and had multiple opportunities but credit to the Japanese goalkeeper he did a great job we managed to get one goal back but it was not enough even a bicycle kick from Fred Fuseau didn’t help in the end!
Great match and all players left with a happy feeling! So step by step we will get our fitness back but the most important is to support each other on-and-off the pitch. No matter you are young or old, any time we can play football we shall take it with pleasure and feeling blessed to enjoy the occasion!
It was a special day being back to business and hopefully, many more are to come! Big Hug to all the Lions and their families!