Time to say “Goodbye 2022”
Lions, friends & family. It’s time to say goodbye to 2022 and welcome this happy new year 2023. In our 26 years of history, 2022 will be a year for all of us that will not be easy to forget. Nobody could foresee that suddenly the world will be facing a war between Russia and Ukraine. None of the players who were in Shanghai could have imagined that they would be locked up in their homes for almost three months… While the world was opening up; China was closing down due the zero-Covid policy.
The impact on football in Shanghai and of course on the Lions as a club has been very tough! So many players decided to go back to their home countries as the future in China was not clear and very uncertain. We lost several players who have played for us for many years and it was really sad to see them go. While we have always been a club that attract new players; now nobody was coming into China anymore…
The SIFL league (in which our senior team is playing) didn’t end the season and was forced to organize friendly games instead.
The SPL Veteran league on its side (in which our Legends are playing) managed to play one full round of league games with 12 teams battling for the trophy. One game before the end of the season 2021/2022; our Lions Legends brought the title home in a nerve wrecking victory against the Emerald playing in the summer heat of July 2022. This title will always be a “Special One” as despite the tough times; the Lions stayed together with a small team and never gave up until the end.
A well deserved reward for all the Lions’ players, friends & family who supported us during the last 3 years during Covid-19. What was also amazing in 2022 was the support we felt from Lions abroad always ready to cheer us up.
Unfortunately we had to stop our youth team for the season 2022/2023. Unfortunatly, too many youth players left China and we didn’t have enough new players to play in a league.
We have had amazing years with our youth teams and I am sure once China open up we will get back our youth team on track. The youth players have been outstanding in helping out the Senior team over the years and always showed great commitment to trainings where they gave it all.
Thanks to the great effort of Azzeddine, Nick & Pat the youth players had an amazing time playing for the Lions. It is super cool to see that most of them still keep close contact among themselves despite the fact that they are spread out all over the world.
We all hope that Matty will get his well-deserved breakthrough in the 1st team at Ipswich Town FC in 2023. Matty, the whole Lions family is behind to support you!
To end the year with a proper “goodbye 2022”; we had a super nice Christmas dinner for the Legends at our sponsor Senso… Only to find out the next couple of days that almost all of the Legends got positive with Covid. Lets put this as a clear evidence of our great unbeatable team spirit!
Now, 2023 here we come!!! We are still alive and kicking. All of us are highly motivated to get the club back on track. We are ready to grow again as a club and family. With China opening up the borders we cannot wait to see old Lions players coming back to Shanghai to visit us.
Cheers to all the new born Lions babies in 2022! Cheers to our Lions Family in Shanghai or abroad! Goodbye 2022 & let’s make 2023 a “Super Lions Year”. We all deserve it!
Freek. President of the Shanghai Lions FC.