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Jiangsu Suning win PL trip thanks to CSL Cup triumph

17 Jul 2019

Dramatic victory in competition mirroring Asia Trophy wins Jiangsu Suning U15s trip of a lifetime to Premier League clubs

Jiangsu Suning's Under-15s will get a once-in-a-lifetime Premier League experience in the United Kingdom after winning the Chinese Super League Cup on Monday.

Playing in their home city of Nanjing two days before it hosts Manchester City, Newcastle United, West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League Asia Trophy, Suning scored a late goal to beat Shanghai Shenhua 2-1 in the inaugural CSL Cup final.

They had first-team treatment in a format that mirrored the Asia Trophy, receiving Premier League medals and lifting the CSL Cup in front of a big crowd at Jiangsu FA Training Complex.

Their reward will be a trip to play and train for a week in the United Kingdom with Premier League Academies, and they will also be special guests at the Asia Trophy semi-finals in Nanjing on Wednesday 17 July.

"I am very excited that my team won the game," Ye Hailong, Jiangsu Suning’s Lead U15s coach, said. "The boys have tried their best. They deserved the win.

"It's such a great chance for the players to be connected with the Premier League.

"I know the Premier League Asia Trophy is coming to Nanjing. Me and my players will go to the Wednesday matches. It’s great for them to get close to world-class players."

Tan and Ge, the two goalscorers for Suning in the final, said: "Premier League, we are coming!"

Mentoring partnership

The two teams and losing semi-finalists Shanghai SIPG and Shandong Luneng were mentored by Academy coaches from Newcastle, West Ham and Wolves as well as Hammers ambassador Carlton Cole.

They were able to gain expertise as part of the Premier League's partnership with the CSL, where the key focus is on youth development as a commitment to helping best develop the local game in China.

The mentors gave guidance to the players and coaches, joined in warm-ups and team talks, and encouraged the four clubs from the sidelines during matches.

"It’s important for everybody, not just in the CSL, but anywhere, to look to other places across the world, particularly a developing country like China in terms of their football," Marc McLaren, a Youth Development and Foundation Phase coach at Wolves, said.

"It’s good to look at places like the Premier League, where we’ve got a good track record, especially currently, of producing top players."

Newcastle Under-10s coach Tony Wigham mentored the winning Suning team, and he said: "It’s fantastic that the winners get a trip to the UK.

'They're not far off from PL intensity'

"It will be really good for them to see the intensity and the standard in our Academies, and they don't seem far off from what we've seen."

The Premier League have been developing football in China since 2009 through Premier Skills, which uses football as a tool to engage with and develop the skills of young people and helps the development of PE teachers and referees, along with the production of learning materials to enhance people's English language skills.

The PL has been in partnership with the Chinese Super League since 2013, sharing knowledge for the benefit of youth development in China.

Gerard Prenderville, West Ham's U15s/U16s coach, added: "It's great that the Premier League give us and all the different teams, Wolves, Newcastle and Man City, to see this. It’s a great partnership.

"It gives us a good chance to spread the word of the Premier League, and it gives us a chance to learn from them, not just them learning from us, which is how I want it to come out.

"I have come here with an open mind. Yes, I've come here to mentor and help, but I'm sure that I can take something away from these guys as well."

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