Matty Ward moving back to England

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Matty WardMatty Ward is an exceptional youth player who played both in the youth & the senior Lions’ teams. During these last 2 years, he won multiple awards such as Top Scorer & Best SPL Young Player. He stood-out with his determination to improve himself whenever he was on the field either at the training or at the matches. We wish him success in England and hopefully, he can bring his football career to the next level!

I have known Matty for 4 years now and he has been a real pleasure to coach. He gained a lot in his mental and physical development and I know he still has more to give. Thank you and I wish you all the best in the future !
Nick

The first time I met Matty it was when our friend Christian decided to promote him to the senior team of Century Park. A little boy that had a good touch with the ball. After being his coach for more than 2 years I had the pleasure to see him grow quickly. I hope I have helped him in some ways. And the best part for me was to actually play with him in the games and watch him do what he does the best. Please don’t forget us Matty and remember you are always welcome here!
Azzeddine

Matty Ward statistics

Best wishes to you Matty
Freek on behalf of all the Lions family!

Lions to enter Chen Yi Cup organized by Shanghai Football Association

As the SPL and SFA (Shanghai Football Association) started a cooperation to promote soccer in Shanghai, we are happy to announce that the Lions will join the Chen Yi Cup 2019. Chen Yi was a former famous Mayor of Shanghai. This tournament will have 64 teams competing in a knock out Cup tournament from May until August 2019. If we can be among the 4 best teams, we’ll be able to get a slot into the official China National Super Cup tournament together with the professional teams !

 

Lets enjoy this new venture and hope we can reach far in the tournament !

 

Cheers
Freek

Season 2017/18 has been a success

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 16 7 19
Philipp Jobst 19 10 11
Victor Xavier Veloso 18 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 35 11 13
Shingai Nindi 20 7 9
Romain & Jerome a Bloc Romain Haution 33 9 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 44 12 17
Nicolas Bouchou 41 10 7
Placeholder Gwendall Volant 39 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 Abroad] Joel Zielke

Outside of Wrigley Field – Home of the Chicago Cubs

Interview of Joel Zielke

FB: When did you leave China ?
JZ: After 7 years in Shanghai, we left in June 2014.

FB: Where do you live now ?
JZ: We moved back to my hometown of Elmhurst, IL.  It is about 20 miles West of downtown Chicago.  My family is all within 30 minutes of here so it is very nice to get together with my parents, siblings and my nephews on a regular basis.

FB: Still two kids or more in the pipe line ?
JZ: Still two.  Kylee is now 7 and Paxton is 4. They keep us busy.  They have started their soccer careers and it is a lot of fun to watch them play.

FB: What do you miss the most from China ?
JZ: I miss our friends from Concordia and the Lions family!  I always looked forward to game day on Sundays!

Our HS team won the Illinois State Championship in 2015

FB: What do you not miss at all beside the pollution ?
JZ: The traffic and congestion.  It is nice to have some personal space again!

FB: Are you still coaching soccer ? or playing in the USA ?
JZ: I am an Assistant coach for a HS team at Timothy Christian Schools where Trixy teaches and our kids go to school.  I haven’t found time or a good club to play with yet…

FB: Heard you changed your job how is the new job ?
JZ: The new job is great.  I am now selling Real Estate with Berkshire Hathaway.  The flexible schedule allows me to spend more time with my kids.  Let me know when you guys are ready to buy some US property!  

FB: In the Lions you were famous for your power and goal scoring capability ?  What was in your mind the best goal you scored.
JZ: That is a hard one…  I was always proud of all of my goals – especially PKs and headers I scored off of set pieces.  The ones that stick out more than anything are the ones I missed… I remember a free kick I took from about 30 yards out.  I hit it so hard it drilled off the cross bar and flew back over my head!

FB: I remember one game you exceptionally lost it against the referee was it because of the referee or because of you own state of mind ?
JZ: Kevin!!! I am usually pretty level headed.  I must have had enough of getting taken out from behind.  So clearly it was the referee…

FB: Do you remember any specific game you played with the Lions more than the other games ?
JZ: The championship games really stick out in my mind.  It was always fun winning the title and the celebration afterwards.

FB: Did the coach put you on the bench sometimes ?
JZ: My first season as a Lion I didn’t play much.  That was when Brian was still coaching.  We all know he didn’t make the best decisions…  I think I might have been benched once after that.

FB: You woke up bathing in sweat and realized you had a nightmare about the Lions ! What was the nightmare about ?
JZ: We didn’t win the Title!  Thankfully we always did!!!

FB: Usually topscorers of a team tend to be selfish but in your case it’s the opposite how did you manage to score so many goals for the Lions ?
JZ: I have always found it more fun to get everyone involved in the game.  I always had a strong desire to outwork the opponent and win!  I probably could have scored a few more goals but we had so many talented players it was not always necessary. 

FB: How was life without Trump and How is life with Trump ?
JZ: I don’t watch the news and don’t feel any difference in policy on a daily basis.  My biggest concern is with North Korea.  I hope that doesn’t escalate into something horrific!

FB: Have you met any other Lions in the USA since you left ?
JZ: Unfortunately I have not.  The International Champions Cup comes through Chicago every summer.  I am waiting for the Lions to get a spot in the tournament! 

We are thinking about a trip back to Shanghai in the Spring of 2018 or 2019.  Hopefully you can squeeze me on the field for a few minutes!

[Lions Abroad] Felipe Da Fonseca

Interview of Felipe Da Fonseca

FB: How have you been Felipe ?
FDF: I’ve been doing quite well even thought my family and I struggled to get used to our life in our French country after time spent in China. Now everything is ok and despite some injuries I’ve got these past years (knee and the most important was broken hamstring tendons).

FB: Tell us where you live now and what job you are doing ?
FDF: We are now living in Grenoble which is a famous city for its mountaineering area. I am now running my own company in recruiting and HR area.

FB: Your daughter was at a young age a better player than you did she continue to play in France ?
FDF: Ahah, she is still much better than me and now playing in the major women soccer club of the city in under 18th category. She’s like her father, a harsh defender.

FB: When did you leave China and why you never came back ?
FDF: I left china in July 2013, came back in 2014 (played with lions) and we’d love to come to visit our friends and lions’ family as soon as possible but the opportunity and my new position did not permit it yet.

FB: Do you miss China and if so what about China you miss ?
FDF: Yes my family and I miss China. I miss the peaceful life in China, the safety feeling you have when chilling outside even late in the night, the dynamic city life with everything opened anytime, food and most of everything the lions family !

FB: How is your Mandarin ?
FDF: Very bad !

FB: Are you playing in France if so which team you play for and how is the level ?
FDF: I am playing in France but not within a club. We meet on Saturday morning and we play 7 aside games. Level would be comparable with the one we played in Luwan on Monday evening and organized by Azz and Kevin. My daughter is now playing in Grenoble (GF38) woman team in U18 in regional level meeting teams such as St Etienne, Evian… Besides that, I am responsible for the woman section in that club which best team is playing in French National Division 2 championship. The goal this year is to access the 1st division and then play against teams like Lyon, Marseille, Paris and so on.

FB: During your time with the Lions you became famous for your playing style as you were like a razorblade playing on the edge every game ? Were you born like that and how did you motivate yourself before each game to play like a razor blade ?
FDF: I think that this was my main game style since my younger age and when I enter the field it is for winning and only the victory was important, that’s why I don’t need extra motivation. I loved playing against shooters and azzuris and that French team on Sunday league. Games with a bit of tension are my favorites

FB: You seemed to collect cards during your spill with the Lions ? Is there a booking or sending off you remember all the time ?
FDF: Actually, I did not remember being sent off so often but the one that will probably stay in my mind is the one in Phuket.

FB: What was the highlight for you playing with the Lions ?
FDF: It was when we beat every team and the lions won again the SIFL championship and we also won the cup that year. Also one of my best records was when we won the masters. Most of all I loved the after games with all the team gathering together.

FB: Have you scored for the Lions ?
FDF: OF COURSE ! and several times maybe more than our “Pivot” striker haha

FB: You have been to Phuket a few times with the Lions ? Any interesting details you can share with us ?
FDF: Hummm… tricky question… what happens in Phuket must stay in Phuket but for a team building stage this is awesome for a team: lot of good games and fun as well. Just one small detail that I could share here is when Allan our fantastic Belgian player was chilling on the beach completely naked.

FB: Portugal became European Champion last year how did you celebrate it ?
FDF: Actually, I was supporting the French team but my daughter Manon was for Portugal and went crazy singing and shouting everywhere.

FB: Have you seen other Lions abroad since you left ?
FDF: Yes I’ve been with our former goalkeeper Tom in Paris and with Fred Guilloux (“donnez-moi le là…..”) when he came to Grenoble.

FB: As you know we have a succesfull Shanghai Lions Legends team now ! What do we need to do to make you come over and play with the Legends for a couple of years ?
FDF: I’ve seen that this team is growing a lot and that’s fantastic, I would be honored to play again for the lions but I am afraid my professional situation now is not leading me to visit or live in China. You can still invite me and I will do my best to come.

FB: Do you miss the Shooters ?
FDF: Yes a lot for those tense games we had ! I loved playing hard and win against those guys.

FB: Anything else?
FDF: I just would like to conclude that you guys made and are making a terrific job with this club and I know what energy is required for that as now I am part of a club to be developed. You are the Lions spirit and this a unique club and team with big humans values ! I LOVED THAT. Go on and if I can help in anything I will do it.

Survey result for season 2017/2018

Lions,

It is great to see the Lions coming back from their summer breaks and we would like to explain our plans for the upcoming season.
The survey we did early summer was a success with 49 answers and the outcome was used to make the plan for the new season. 

 

Here is a recap of the survey:

2017-08-23_17-02-07

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Lions website broke the 2 million hits mark

Lions,

2 million hits

Our website has been one of our key success factors of the last couple of years. We designed it by ourselves 4 years back with the help of Francois & Maxime. Actually it started to become the “heartbeat” of the Lions as it was actively being used by our players but also by people from all over the world who showed interest in our club as well people who like to find out what is the status of football in China. That we surpassed the 2 million hits mark in such a short time proves the importance of the site. It’s a great tool for sponsors like Ajisen to get their name out in China and in the rest of the world. We will continue to make our website better and better and would like to thank our users for their support !

We hope everybody keeps visiting our site and we are looking forward to break the 5 million hits in the future !

Cheers
Freek, Shanghai Lions FC President

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