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2019 CFA Youth Development Conference held in Shenzhen

By Andrea Huang 18 Jan 2019

The Chinese Football Association hosted the 2019 CFA Youth Development Conference in the Chinese city of Shenzhen on January 16 and 17, to review the work undertaken in youth football in 2018 and to look at their 2019 plans. 

This event, organized by the CFA is the largest working meeting on the subject of Chinese youth development in recent years. The CFA, the General Administration of Sport of China, the National Youth Campus Football Work Leading Group, professional football clubs, youth training centers and media all sent leaders and delegates to the event with the total number of the delegates around 230 people. 

The Deputy Secretary General of CFA and the Director of Men’s Football Youth Training Department, Mr Fei Jian, summarizing the work of youth training in 2018, said that they had solved some problems in youth development work, made better policies and improved the youth football environment; however, on the other hand, despite these achievements, there were still problems and challenges in youth football development, such as the huge lack of coaches specializing in youth football development and the low competitive strength of Chinese youth teams in Asia. 

The key words for Chinese youth development in 2019 are reforms, innovation, open and services. In the new year, the CFA will continue to spend efforts in innovation and international cooperation to improve the work of youth development. 

Specifically, regarding the cooperation with overseas coaches, most of the current overseas coaches hired by the CFA are from Spain. In 2019, the CFA will try to hire coaches from other European countries for individual youth training centers according to each center’s needs and characteristics. 

By the end of 2019, the CFA plans to employ 100 overseas coaches with UEFA Pro A certifications who have gone through training by the CFA. These 100 coaches are part of CFA’s efforts to develop grassroots football development among children aged 6-13. 

During the conference, youth expert from LaLiga and the LaLiga club Real Betis Balompié introduced LaLiga’s youth systems, team and competition structure, results and concepts. Two Spanish coaches who are working in youth football training in China also shared their experiences and insights. 

Reference: CFA website report 1, CFA website report 2 

Proofread by Raymond Fitzpatrick

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