Sampdoria enters Chinese market

Updated: 2012-09-08 08:04

By Tang Zhe (China Daily)

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Serie A club Sampdoria will start to explore the Chinese market with an all-round campaign, the Italian side announced at a new conference at the Italian embassy in Beijing on Thursday.

According to Vittorio Garrone, vice-president of Sampdoria, the club has found a Chinese partner, United Vansen International, to help it open workshops and training courses in the country - ranging from coaches training, to a series of management courses for club managers, media officials and medical staff.

The club is also aware of China's small soccer population and youth development is also on its to-do list.

Sampdoria wants to develop a long-term youth program in China and is keen to provide coaches and technical staff for the reserve teams of Chinese clubs and also university sides. The club also plans to set up a youth training center in an elementary or middle school which would specialize in soccer education. The young players would get classes from the club's junior team coaches, while outstanding players would be invited to take a six-day visit to the club's youth camp in Italy.

"Sampdoria has always given much attention to youth training and at least five players of our first team came out from the club's youth system," Garrone said. "I am confident our rich experience in this field will help us to get into the Chinese market in a fast manner."

Sampdoria got its toe in China's door when it participated at the Weifang Cup international youth soccer tournament held in August in Weifang, Shandong province, and finished third.

"We brought our youngest players to the Weifang Cup. It's a very nice experience and was a great start for us (to connect with China)," Garrone said. "A lot of foreign clubs are paving their way to enter the huge market of China, and I hope we will establish some effective cooperations here.

"We will arrange a series of activities over the following three years. And the club will put large amounts of money and effort into promoting the talent of young Chinese players," he said. "We will collect profiles of the youngsters, evaluate whether they are qualified to play for our team and select the best to join us.

"Fans can also expect more Italian players to play in China in the future," said Garrone. "Hopefully, our first team will tour China and play some matches in May, 2013. We are expecting to attract more fans in this huge country."

Yang Junsheng, president of the Beijing Football Association, believes the efforts of Sampdoria will help to improve the sport's standard in schools and campuses around the city.

(China Daily 09/08/2012 page16)