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 15 7 19
Philipp Jobst 18 10 11
Victor Xavier Veloso 17 6 4
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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 34 11 13
Romain & Jerome a Bloc Romain Haution 32 9 9
Shingai Nindi 19 7 9
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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
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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

Legends pick their 2017 SPL Veteran championship trophy

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 Legends beat Shanghai Scottish 2-1 in a friendly

[ Friendly ] Shanghai Lions FC 2 – 1 Shanghai Scottish

shanghai scottishAs the season is coming to an end soon we were happy to play a friendly against Shanghai Scottish last Sunday ! The weather was very humid and hot and we had a nice mix of players ! The first twenty minutes we played well as Mike was keeping Carlton Palmer, the ex-national England player, busy while we had Adam and Masa flying on the wings. It was a great strike of Patrick after he was ordered to shoot by half the team that gave us a 1-0 lead. The Scotts played well and compact and were dangerous on the counter. They hit the cross bar and post but our stand in goalie the president himself was not impressed however they did equalize with a header. In the balance of the match we struggled to find solutions in the box but had most of the possession… credit to the Scotts who defended well and never gave up the fight. The hard work on our side was rewarded two minutes from the end when Azz set up our upcoming left back Conway who didn’t hesitate to put the ball in the net !

 

The beers after the match tasted good !

 

Cheers
Freek

Legends beat Strosso 7-2

[ Veteran ] Shanghai Lions FC 7 – 2 FC Strosso

StrossoThe weather was great and the pitch not bad ! The legends were up against Strosso a Japanese team with the typical Japanese style of playing which mean they never give up and keep running fast until the very last moment.

We had several key players missing for this match but with the return of Yohan (one of the old guard Lions / Les Bleus) we managed to bring a 12 men squad helped also by Julia, our upcoming talented youth players.

In the first 20 minutes we were up 2-0 goals by Nicolas and James. In the second 20 minutes Sam made it 3 and Mike celebrated his first goal ! Strosso came back with a goal and we also lost our keeper Clement, very unfortunate, as he twisted his ankle by himself ! Igor, our new player from Ukraine, took the position as keeper and Mike scored another one which he celebrated by taking off his shirt ! Strosso pulled one more back and in the last 20 it was Max “Schmeichel” making his debut as keeper. Our President give an assist to Mike to fulfill his dream as he scored a Hat-trick for the Legends and at the end another President assist found James he didn’t hesitate to score !

Overall a good match and the beer tasted good afterwards !

Cheers
Freek

Legends beat England 3-0

Lions beat England legends

[ Veteran ] Shanghai Lions FC 3 – 0 England

It was nice spring weather in Shanghai with 20 degrees ! We had a small squad this time with our captain Fred’s decision to hang his boots :(…. and it got even smaller when Sylvain‘s calf snapped after 10 minutes. We started well and tried to keep possession with good ball circulation. It was Matze‘s son, Victor, who opened the score for the Legends with a nice blast in the net ! We finally had a Mueller in our team who could score and were happy to see that Victor is a better player than his father ! Laid scored our second goal after a president’s corner with a good header.

England didn’t give up and got several corners but couldn’t convert them as well Clement, our goalie, had a few good saves to keep our sheet clean ! Laid scored a second header from a president’s corner but saw the goal being disallowed by the referee due to foul in the box from Nicolas.

The president showed some skill in the last 20 minutes when he did a “Dennis Bergkamp” turning around surprisingly England’s last defender to shot the ball with his outside foot just over the goalie from the edge of the box ! Amazing goal !!!

 

It was a great way to end a great day ! The beer after match tasted very good ! Up next we play Strosso on April 15th !

 

Cheers
Happy Freek

Legends were unlucky to lose against Emerald

legends-unlucky-lose-emerald[ Veteran ] Shanghai Lions FC 1 – 2 Emerald

The weather was great and we had a big legends line up for the game against old rival the Emeralds ! In the first and second 20 minutes of the match we played our best football of the season. With a compact squad we kept the ball in our possession and made the Emerald players run a lot. We had some great build up plays and within 5 minutes James on a run from the right wing hit the cross bar. We took the lead by an awesome pass from Sylvain nicely finished by Romain who scored on his birthday !

It was a well deserved lead for us however in the second 20 minutes disaster struck as Emerald got a free kick at the right wing and when the player tried to cross it in it flew over our keeper in the net…..!

In the third 20 minutes we lost a bit of our composure and Emerald scored on a very fast counter it was their second shot on goal….!

For us all we could do now was fighting for every ball and try to get the luck on our side. After a few corners and two free kicks for us it was over and all we could do was drink our sorrows away with Ice Cold Beer.

 

Lets work on our play and fitness next Tuesday at the training and next up is England next Sunday !

 

Cheers
Freek

Legends lost against Japan

[Veteran] Shanghai Lions FC 1 – 4 Japan FC

Finally the pollution which hung over Shanghai for more than a week got cleared and we were playing in cold conditions but with a blue sky ! For the Legends it was their first match after the New Year holiday and always that match is not easy as most players gained a few kilos and dropped their fitness levels. For the Japanese players this was not the case as they looked sharp fit and well organized.

With our Captain Fred on goal for the first 20 minutes we tried to combine to keep the ball in our possession however the passing was poor end most of the time the ball ended up with a Japanese player. We got a free kick on a good position but we took it too fast as our defenders were still on the way forward. We gave the free kick to the Japanese who found themselves unmarked on top and they scored on a quick counter… Soon we failed to clear a long ball and Hirai, the Japanese striker, had no problem scoring the 2-0 from close range. 0-2 down just before half time we had to try to get back in the game and did it with a in the box strike from Nicolas B… It felt good !

We started  the third 20 minutes motivated but within two minutes we gave the ball away and left the Japanese striker too much space and their 3-1 was the “so called” killer blow ! While trying to get a goal it was Japan again who scored typically from a corner for us on a very fast counter !

 

Well done and Well deserved victory for Japan. For us we need to get our fitness back and that starts at the training field on Tuesday !

 

Cheers
Freek

Legends clinched their 3rd SPL Veteran title in 4 years

emerald 005

Carlos Mozer & Pascal Olmeta

Lions, it was strange weather last Sunday as despite being close to December it was a summer day with a blue sky and 25 degrees. We were up against the Emerald (last year champion) who could keep us away from winning our 3rd SPL Veteran title in 4 years ! For that, we had to lose 17-0 and Emerald brought Fafa (SPL senior goal scorer of last season in their team) aiming to make it happen…

[ VETERAN ] Emerald 2 – 0 Shanghai Lions FC

We started very good as we managed to block the attacks with solid defense and good saves from Laurent our stand in goalie ! James in fine form for the last couple of games even got a chance to give us the lead after a great pass from Thomas. Jerome got a yellow after he ended up in a scrum with his opponent but he stayed composed and disciplined for the rest of the game.

In the next 20 we got more possession and Emerald was less threatening Bob hit the cross bar with a powerful strike !

In the third twenty minutes it was a bit harder as Emerald has physical strong players and the battle in the midfield was fierce however our defense was strong and covered most of the attacks and Masa-san our right back was on fire winning all the headers and defended like a rock.

In the last 20 minutes we thought we had won the game when Bob went all alone one on one to the Emerald keeper however at the end he slowed down and so did his shot… it was an easy pick up for the keeper ! With 10 minutes to go disaster struck as by a corner Francois was pushed to the ground making Fafa a free man to score with a header from nearby the goal. It was harsh on us as a draw would be a fair result. Instead Fafa too fast for our older defenders made it 2-0 for Emerald.

Despite the loss we had smiles on our faces as we were Champions ! It was a tight race this season as Japan had equal points but our goal difference was 14 goals better at the end and Emerald ended two points behind us !

 

The beer tasted good after the match ! Well done Legends and thank you Pascal for coming out to watch the match !

 

Cheers
Freek

Legends almost Champions

[ VETERAN ] Shanghai Lions FC 1 – 1 Japan FC

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It was going to be a very hard game for the Legends against a super fit and fast Japan. Japan needed to win in order to have a chance to win the SPL Veteran Championship. For the Lions a win or a draw would be good ! We adjusted our tactics and played with 5 in the midfield and only Bob on top. Our aim was not to go 1-0 down early in the game and play our tactics as long as we could.

In the first 20 minutes it was hard as Japan fielded their best players but we stood up to the challenge. Clement had some fine saves and we ended it 0-0 according to our plan.

In the second 20 we got more opportunities and it was Laid with outside foot wonder strike giving us the lead ! Now it was easier for us as we had a cushion.

B1F313B3-0B6C-47F1-920D-6B1E64998A46-312-0000000BB02BE6B7_tmpIn the third 20 minutes we were the better side and unfortunately we lost Kevin due to an injury and we wish him a speedy recovery. However we needed some great saves from Clement again to keep us ahead.

In the last 20 we knew Japan would go all out to get the 2 goals they needed and they got one when a flew over the box  rip on someone’s head and fall into our net ! Not much time left but it was still nerve wrecking. Our president who came in the last 5 minutes almost scored with a surprise lob but the keeper was alert ! The final whistle came as a relief for the Legends !

As we have one more match to go against the Emerald and only a 17-0 loss we keep us away from the title. Of course we will go for the win against them and have some nice beers after the match. Pascal our unfortunate injured keeper will come and watch the game to add to the celebration !

See you all next Sunday and of course Tuesday at the trainings !

Cheers
Happy Freek

Legends beat Scotland 5-1 to go on top of the SPL Veteran

12112017 049[ VETERAN ] Shanghai Lions FC 5 – 1 Shanghai Scottish

It was a perfect day weather wise as the sky was blue and pollution was close to zero. We had a solid squad and were happy to have Clement to be stand in goalie after Pascal was so unfortunate to have snapped his Achilles the week before. Also it was good to see Thomas Gauthier back on the field after a long absence due to a knee operation !

12112017 036Scotland started slow and we adjusted in the first 10 minutes to their game which was not our intention. However after we got awarded a penalty which Bob converted we started to play good football ! Bob scored his second and James, our birthday boy (46), scored a third. Of course 3-0 up in the first 20 minutes is a good result.

Scotland did cause us some problems as they managed a few times to get behind our defense but Clement made a good save and the Scottish didn’t finish the final ball on target. James scored a superb header after an excellent cross from Kevin. The Scots got one back which they deserved at the point of time and Kader who tried to shoot with his left foot and later with his right decided not to use his feet any longer scored with a nice header to make the final score 5-1 !

Time to celebrate and to have some beers with Max who came over after he completed the Shanghai Marathon in 4.28 in the morning !

Next Sunday we play Japan and we can clinch the tittle !

The standing after yesterdays games :

  • Lions 7 played 21 points + 42 goal difference
  • Japan 8 played 21 points + 26 goal difference
  • Emerald 8 played 18 points + 30 goal difference

 

Lets all come to the training and be ready for this weekend massive game against Japan!

 

Cheers
Freek

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