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Manchester United to Play Shanghai Shenhua: July 25th

Friday June 1st Manchester United confirmed they will travel to China as part of their 2012 Asian tour to play against local side Shanghai Shenhua on Wednesday July 25th in a friendly match at Shanghai Stadium.

The match will be United’s first exhibition game in China since the 2009 friendly in Hangzhou against Hangzhou Greentown FC, and second match against Shenhua after a visit in 1999 that saw the Reds win 2-0 in front of an 80,000 crowd at the same venue.

With Manchester City and Arsenal scheduled to play two days later on July 27th in Beijing’s iconic Bird Nest stadium this shows the priority English Premier League clubs are placing on Asian, and specifically, Chinese markets.

The local media, including , will relish the high-profile matches, as well as Chinese fans of the EPL giants’, especially with the potential reunion of Nicolas Anelka and expected Didier Drogba with their former EPL counterparts.

However much speculation remains to the substance behind such visits, beyond marketing ploys and ticket sales, especially the question of any contributions to the domestic game in China which will be in the middle of its CSL season and in need of  football infrastructure development.

Pic: Shenhua take on Manchester United last time around in 1999

Trevor has always been a student of the game, thus becoming a teacher and ambassador for the sport was only natural. In 2010 he joined Sinobal Football Club in Hangzhou, Zhejiang, a grassroots football club founded in 1998.
First starting as a player, then as a youth and first team assistant coach, now Trevor spends most of the time coordinating international projects with the club. These include school football co-op projects, China Grassroots Football Foundation in rural areas of China, Street Football, China Grassroots Football exhibition, and finding new opportunities/events to popularize, enhance, and project grassroots football in China.
For WEF Trevor contributes primarily on happenings away from the CSL, where, arguably, Chinese football needs the most development. Although coverage on Hangzhou Greetown FC, a partner of Sinobal FC,is to be expected.
If you are interested in contacting Trevor or finding out more about grassroots football in China contact trevor.lamb@sinobal.net.

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