Partnership with Suning Sports strengthened with the expansion of the Inter Academy branch in Jiangsu and the opening of training centres across the province. A new Academy branch is also opening in the province of Liaoning.
After Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu, Inter Academy has further extended its network in China with the opening of a branch in Shenyang, in the province of Liaoning. Meanwhile the project launched in 2017 in Nanjing, in the province of Jiangsu, is being further expanded.
Set up by Inter in collaboration with Suning Sports, the aim of Inter Academy Jiangsu is to support the development of youth football in China, and particularly in the province. Here the branch in Nanjing will be the hub for a network of training centres, initially based in four other cities in the province – Wuxi, Yangzhou, Suzhou and Xuzhou – before increasing that number to ten over the coming years.
The existing model for Inter’s youth teams will be implemented: the activities, both grassroots and recreational, at each centre are aimed at girls and boys from ﬁve and above, while the best children in the 8-13 age bracket will be selected for the Elite Teams, where they will be able to play competitively. Five Inter Academy coaches – overseen by a technical coordinator – will be tasked with training 60 local coaches and the 5,000 youngsters involved in the project.
Inter Academy Shenyang, located in the northern province of Liaoning, has been established in partnership with Shenyang Aomei Sports Culture Communication Co. Ltd. The work in Liaoning will begin with the creation of Elite Teams from Under-8 level up to Under-15. Supported by Inter Academy, thirty local coaches will train approximately 240 kids.
Javier Zanetti appeared at the opening ceremony, held in Nanjing on 2 June, alongside Suning Sports Group vice-president Liu Jun. “It’s always a great honour for me to represent Inter around the world and it’s especially pleasing today because we are in Nanjing – our second home,” the Inter vice-president declared.
“This project is another step in the partnership between Inter and Suning Sports. The mutually beneﬁcial sharing of expertise and experience between our two organisations has now been further strengthened and it can make a vital contribution to the growth of football in China.
“There is huge passion for football here and it’s growing all the time. We at Inter are proud to be part of that growth thanks to the professional approach offered by Inter Academy.”
With the two openings in China, Inter Academy’s top-class network of training centres has been extended. Projects like Inter Academy create the perfect conditions to replicate the practices used by Inter’s renowned youth academy as well as its values: to combine highlevel football coaching with all-round education for the children.
As well as China, Inter Academy operates in Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, with 20,000 youngsters, 300 local instructors and 50 Italian coaches taking part. The project is the international face of Inter’s youth academy, which is renowned both for its notable on-ﬁeld success and the ability of its coaches to develop and mentor budding professional footballers.
Inter Academy develops children as human beings ﬁrst and footballers second and its values reﬂect those which have characterised the history and philosophy of FC Internazionale Milano. Respect for others, active participation in group life, exchanging ideas and sharing both victories and defeats are essential parts of the Inter Academy ethos, representing shared learning experiences for the players involved.
The cohesive technical strategy shared between Milan and the other centres around the world is the bedrock of the project. It’s what makes it unique and ensures that every Inter Academy in the world is a direct extension of the club’s youth academy.
At the very heart of the project is a focus on technical ability. All Inter Academy coaches have spent years accumulating experience in Inter’s youth-academy network, meaning the standard of training methods is kept very high. The club’s experience and success in youth football were among the main reasons why it was decided to share the methods used at the youth academy in Milan with the rest of the world.
Yet what truly motivated Inter to export its methodology was the desire for every child to have the opportunity to develop and train to the high technical and ethical standards proposed by Inter close to home – the natural place for them to grow as human beings.
We place a particularly strong emphasis on passing our expertise on to local coaches, because improving the standard of coaching at a local level is a crucial step in building a framework to develop youth football.