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China's football academy, veteran coach awarded by AFC for youth development

(Xinhua)    14:39, November 13, 2019

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov. 13 -- China's Shandong Luneng Taishan Football Academy and veteran coach Xu Genbao have been awarded for their contribution to youth football development during the Asian Football Confederation (AFC)'s Youth Conference here on Tuesday.

AFC presented its first-ever AFC Youth Football Development during the opening of the three-day 3rd AFC Youth Conference held at the Malaysian capital when China's Shandong Luneng Taishan Football Academy claimed the Youth Academy of the Year Award.

According to AFC, Luneng Football Academy was widely regarded as one of the most influential football academies in China. Founded in July 1999, the academy is equipped with 26 football pitches and a national training center which is the only one-of-its-kind in professional club football in the country.

The academy has developed more than 260 players who have gone on to feature in the CFA Super League, CFA League 1 and 2, winning several dozens of national and international youth football championships.

The first Youth Coach of the Year was awarded to Abdulwahab Alharbi from Saudi Arabia, with the Youth Football League of Tajikistan winning the Youth League of the Year award.

Xu Genbao, a Chinese veteran coach and founder of Shanghai Genbao Football Training Base, was presented with a special merit for his contribution to young footballers.

Xu's training base was known as a cradle of Chinese elite footballers, including Wu Lei of the Spanish club Espanyol.

AFC General Secretary Windsor John, who presented the awards to the winners on Tuesday, said that the AFC has underlined the ambition to ensure its teams and players succeed on the world stage, and the best chance to bring that to life relies on the investment in youth footballers.

"We are confident that the achievements of today's winners will inspire more coaches, leagues, and academies to strengthen their youth development structures, which will ultimately transform the landscape of elite youth development in Asia," he said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Bianji)

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