Soccer hopefuls get some German tutelage

Updated:2017-03-27 09:38:59

  Dozens of young Chinese soccer players put on their boots over the weekend for a shot at representing the country at this year's FC Bayern Youth Cup finals.

  Germany's top professional club, FC Bayern Munich, held a trial for 60 hopefuls aged 14 to 16 at a training ground in Qingdao, Shandong province, on Saturday.

  The 10 best performers will be selected to play for China against their peers from around the world in the youth tournament, said Julian Heichelel, the club's international marketing manager.

  The tournament, launched in 2012, is played at Bayern's Allianz Arena and will feature teams from Thailand, the United States, India, Austria, Singapore and Germany. Games will be played from May 17 to 21.

  "Players will also participate in training sessions with our youth coaches, meet the first-team players and watch the final match of the 2016-17 Bundesliga season at the Allianz Arena," Heichelel said.

  The 60 players, who come from eight provincial regions, were watched by Antonio Vatany, a Bayern youth coach who will make suggestions on the final selection.

  The trials were held at the Sino-German Ecopark, where the Bundesliga club's first soccer school in China is located. The school opened in October and boasts world-class facilities.

  "It's a unique experience for China's excellent young soccer players to gain access to top-level training sessions through this event to boost their skills," said Yu Hao, chairman of Qingdao Sino-German Sports Culture Co Ltd, which is affiliated to the park.

  "We will enhance cooperation with Bayern to introduce its advanced youth training system to the park and continue to optimize training facilities," Yu said. "Construction of two 11-a-side pitches is underway, while a German-style soccer park and medical facilities will also be completed soon."

  Bayern's soccer school in Qingdao is expected to finish registration and officially begin operations next month.