Rainy conditions for the youth team in a friendly

rainy conditionsWhen we were on the way to the field we feared for the worst as it was pouring with rain hard but luckily the rainy conditions stopped just before the game. Well, sometimes, it’s good to play under such rainy conditions as it shows the true fighting spirit of a team. On the topic of fighting spirit, I’d like to bring here to our youngest the story of a rainy game we had back in 2014… As a matter of fact, probably one of the most memorable games in Shanghai Lions FC’s long history.

Coming back to our youth game, we were playing a friendly against a young team who’s not used to play 11 aside. In the first 30 minutes instead of giving them a lesson, we were playing really bad ourselves… Most of our players were still asleep and yes the field was hard to play on but there was no reason to play so flat and slow.

The half time talk was not nice but needed to put the team back on track. It’s important to learn to always show respect to opponents even when they are younger and are weaker.

In the second half, we finally woke up and started to play football with good combinations and nice goals. We were happy with our new players and overall its good to have a workout pre-season. Obviously we need to work harder especially on our finishing as we got over 25 scoring opportunities and only score 9.

 

Thank you to the parents who came and watch… We appreciate that and we will work harder to improve ourselves! See you all on Thursday

 

Cheers
Pat, Nick & Freek

Youth end season 2019-2020 with the traditional annual barbecue

season 2019-2020This season 2019-2020 was of course nothing we have ever experienced before in our lifetimes due to Covid-19. However, after the months-long pause since January, we tried hard to get our youth teams back on track. It was a long and difficult path but in the end, we succeeded since April by training at Qi Yi and organizing multiple friendlies against youth teams but also against the senior team and local Chinese teams to get our players back in shape. We are pleased that most of our players are back to their level before the Covid-19. Unfortunately, we lost many players as they couldn’t come back to China due to the travel restrictions. We miss them so much!

We organized our end of the season party last Saturday with our traditional barbecue at Dongjiao estate (same as last year) with the help of Alison, Keith, Julian & Melissa. Perfect meat of Yasmine Steak house was ordered and foot volley fields were set up on the pitch next to the barbecue pit! All players and many parents came to our event and we had a super nice group of people together! The end of the evening had an award ceremony to thank players and coaches for this season 2019-2020! Unfortunately, our top goal scorer Alvaro couldn’t attend as he & his family are still in Spain not able to return. The best player of the season award (voted by the players themselves) went to YU Xuan. We had to say goodbye to three players as they will go back home to study: Matthew, Lewis & Matty

 

It was a wonderful evening and it showed our family spirit. We’d like to thank everybody for their help and contribution to this season and we are looking forward to the new one 🙂

 

Cheers
Freek, Nick, Pat & Azz

First team drew against Cosmos in pre-season friendly

First TeamIt was our first step into the new season 2020/2021 with a big change as our First Team we will re-join the SIFL league this season. As a pre-season friendly, we chose to play against Cosmos FC who ended 5th in the league last season! Our objective for this season is to give an opportunity to our youth players to play in senior matches to gain experience and be prepared for their next step into their football life! We had 7 youth players with a squad of 15 players and due to the heat over 34 degrees, we played 3 x 30 minutes!

In the first 30 minutes, Cosmos decided to sit back deep and had no ambition to open up… so it was a chess game where every move was controlled. Few seconds before the break, we made a foul but didn’t pay attention… Cosmos played it quickly into the box from and they took the lead 0-1… In senior games, it is important to be focused until the very last minute… let’s say it’s part of the learning process.

In the second 30 minutes, we came back to draw as Patrick came forward to launch a good strike outside the box when their keeper came out too far.

In the third 30 minutes, it was a long ball from Kevin which most people thought was “mamahuhu” but the Cosmos defender missed it & Dan (our new striker) didn’t hesitate to put behind the net. 2-1 for the Lions but unfortunately, we let Cosmos came back to tie after we failed to clear the ball in defense.

 

In the end, both teams were happy with the draw. For the Lions, it was a positive performance given we had no goalie and so many youngsters in the team. Back to training! See you all on Monday!

 

Cheers
Freek

Youth tied with Juventus 3-3 in the Summer Heat

summer heatOriginally, we had 17 players on the list for this friendly game against Juventus Academy Shanghai but we got last moment drop-outs while facing 34 degrees with no clouds summer heat… Well, we knew it would not going to be easy! Luckily we got Philipp willing to help out in goal giving us an extra-man on the bench.

It was clear that this summer heat will play a major role as many players were already looking at the sideline asking for substitution early in the game. Still, it was good to welcome Matty back in the squad who didn’t play for the last 6 months while being abroad. It was a dribble from Matty who ran himself into 3 defenders but still got a small touch to pass to Lewis who gave us the 1-0 lead. It was early in the game and within 5 minutes Juventus leveled the score 1-1.

Playing 4 spells of 20 minutes we started to get grip on the game in the second 20 with us having more possession and fighting hard to get the ball back when we lost it. Also, our confidence was getting stronger and stronger it resulted in a fine finish from Yuv after Juventus defense couldn’t clear the ball from a cross in!

In the third 20 we controlled the midfield and created more and more counter-attacks and after a couple, it was Matty scoring the 3-1 at a counter.

In the last 20 minutes, we tried to defend what we achieved as a team so far and all looked good but a free kick on the far left sailed over Philipp to bring Juventus back in the game. With 5 minutes to go, we thought we got a clear penalty when Matty was fouled in the box but the referee might have been too tired to blow the whistle in the very last minute while we have blocked all their through balls for 79 minutes one slipped through and the Juventus player was one on one with our keeper he scored and the final score 3-3 was a fact!

Given the severe conditions, we must give big compliments to all the players today as you all showed character, teamwork as well as team spirit. We were very happy today with our new players Justin Diego & Subaru-san… Well done to all the parents who came out to watch and gave support to our players!

We will let you know about the next event either a match or training next week. We will try to get an earlier morning or evening slot in order to avoid the summer heat.

 

Have a good rest and see you next week.

 

Cheers
Freek, Pat & Nick

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