Time to say “Goodbye 2020”

goodbye 2020It’s time to say “goodbye 2020”. This year will go into the history books as the year of the covid-19 pandemic. Before January 2020, all was fine and we were doing good in all the leagues (especially the SPL U18-U16). However, disaster struck during the Chinese New Year leading China in a high state of alert. All the schools got closed and any kind of sports activities became forbidden… meaning no more training and no more matches. In the end, only the legends have been able to finish the 2020/2021 veteran league. For the record, Japan FC took the title with a blasting finish.

As for the new season 2020/2021:

  • For the senior team, we did make a change over the summer as we decided to rejoin the SIFL league. The concept is simple… combine our experienced seniors with youth players who are the closest becoming “men”. The icing on the cake, playing on Saturday in SIFL will no longer conflict with Sunday league for the legends. On the management side, we are pleased Fehd recently joining the team. Football-wise, we have experienced mixed results in the league. This is completely normal as it takes time to find the right formation and balance.
  • For the youth academy (13 to 18 yo), we organized several friendly against other youth teams. As usual, Patrick and Nick are leading the training every Thursday. Last but not least we started a Lions U9 team which is probably the most positive news of the year. They are trained by our own older youth players Jason & YU Xuan (now both playing in the first team).U9 league matches are on Sunday mornings at Qi Yi. It is a joy to watch them play and they are doing very well.

Honestly, it is good to see that the Lions are having a great future going forward in the years to come. Now, we are working towards the next step which is to create a Lions U13 team. If we can achieve this, we will have a complete football club from the youngest (6 yo) to the oldest (over 60 yo)… All of them playing under the Shanghai Lions FC banner!

As every year, we lost players who had to leave China for family or work reasons. Because of covid-19, we also lost players who left China for the CNY holiday but couldn’t come back still… Incredible and it’s really time to say “goodbye 2020”! Luckily, we found new players willing to join us. Looking at the talent of our youth players, our future is looking good.

We’d like to wish everybody a Merry Christmas. Happy, Healthy, and Safe 2021. Last but not the least, “goodbye 2020”!!!

Freek
Shanghai Lions President on behalf of the Lions’ management team

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