The independent London newspaper

Footballers could be Beijing-bound

After playing against visiting Chinese team, youth football club considers trip to the Far East

01 August, 2019 — By Steve Barnett

Kentish Town Football Academy and Beijing New Talent Academy

A TEAM of talented young footballers from Camden and Islington could soon be preparing for a mighty away day.

That’s because staff from Pro Touch SA are drawing up plans to take a team on tour to China to “experience a different culture, a different way of living and a different way of playing the beautiful game”.

The news comes after Pro Touch successfully hosted Beijing New Talent Academy, who recently enjoyed an action-packed 10 days in London. They played a host of friendlies against local sides, including Pro Touch, Just Play, who are based in Highgate, and Kentish Town Football Academy. They also enjoyed a spot of sightseeing, visiting Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium, and were even treated to some traditional fish and chips at Poppie’s in Camden Town.

“It was a fantastic experience for everyone involved,” said Pro Touch project manager Mustapha Turay, who helped organised Beijing Academy’s visit.

“Our players got the chance to learn all about a different culture, and share their own stories about their backgrounds and where they live and grew up. A lot of new friendships were formed.

“Beijing Academy played some excellent football, and one of their age groups even won a special tournament that we put together.

“It would be fantastic to take a squad to China. Pro Touch have played football all over Europe, to go to the Far East would be a whole new challenge. It would present our players with a great opportunity.

“We are exploring our options. Competing in the Gothia Cup in China, for example, would take a lot of planning. We would need to fundraise because obviously it wouldn’t be cheap.

“Instead of taking a squad from Pro Touch, we could pick a team to represent Camden and Islington. How exciting would that be? There is also talk of Beijing Academy returning to play in the UK, so watch this space.”


Share this story

Post a comment