Chelsea joins Chinese club to open soccer school

Updated: 2013-05-15 17:36

By Qiu Quanlin in Guangzhou (

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Chinese Super League club Guangzhou R&F signed a partnership deal with English Premier League side Chelsea on Tuesday which will see the parties jointly open a soccer school in Guangdong province.

The school, based in Meizhou, will recruit more than 200 students aged between nine and 12 from September, according to the agreement.

"The school will also provide excellent academic education and lifestyle coaching as well as first-class technical training as the students learn to play 'the Chelsea way'," said Zhang Li, boss of Guangzhou R&F.

Meizhou, in the eastern part of Guangdong, has been referred to as the "home of Chinese football", where former Chinese stars like Zeng Xuelin and Li Huitang were born.

Chelsea already boasts similar schools in Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand. Another is due to open in Jakarta before the club's summer tour this year.

"The school will be the perfect venue for Chelsea's experienced coaches to run training sessions, and for young people to train the way Chelsea's players do. I am confident that a legacy will be left here for years to come," said Ron Gourlay, chief executive officer of Chelsea Football Club.