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From Birkenhead to Baotou, the International Soccer Academy at Tranmere Rovers Football Club continues to make strides in Asia.

Our team have won numerous International Business Awards praising the high-quality delivery in both player development and coach education from teams across the globe.

Since 2016, The ISA have been working in partnership with government organisations, corporate businesses and private educators in China and Indonesia to deliver several unique programmes specialising in the following areas:

  • Coach Education
  • Elite Player Development
  • Soccer Education

The ISA programmes were initially set up as an opportunity for English coaches to gain experience abroad and providing beneficial footballing education to children in our joint venture school, Little London Football School, which is based in Hohhot, China.

Coaches from Tranmere Rovers went out to the Far East to deliver sessions and further enhance the Club’s reputation in Asia.

In China, the ISA has been working with the Inner Mongolian Education Bureau since 2016. Inner Mongolia is the pilot province for the development of the game at grassroots level through campus football. ISA coaches from Tranmere Rovers are helping Inner Mongolia to deliver their blueprint for the development of campus football, ultimately creating players that can embark on a national player pathway.

The ISA have delivered several talent ID trips for the President’s Cup and coached over 9,000 players and 1,500 coaches in the Hainan Warm Weather Training Camp across three years. To date, 26 English coaches ranging from Level One to UEFA B, have coached in Hohhot and at the Inner Mongolian Warm Weather Training Base in Hainan to deliver soccer training for coaches and youth players as we continue to grow! In addition, the creation of a coaching textbook that will be distributed to around 345,000 students in November 2019 was written by The ISA’s Technical Director, Daniel O’Donnell.

In the UK, The ISA has delivered five elite coach education programmes in partnership with The FA with 133 coaches achieving the Foundation International Coaching Award. The ISA, as part of Tranmere Rovers FC, is the only professional Football Club to offer the FA International Award (up to UEFA B equivalent). 

Since then, the department has grown to cater for several international markets including North America and Indonesia.

In Indonesia, The ISA plays a key role in the Sister City relationship between the Liverpool City Region and Surabaya City Government. In November 2018, a team of elite Surabaya players attended a football development programme in the UK, with another group scheduled for 2020 delivery. The ISA are also growing other routes into Indonesia with potential for an academy and coach education programmes.

Emma Palios, who has overseen the ISA’s China Development, said: “The ISA started its journey in China, Inner Mongolia – the pilot province for campus football development.

“In three years, our partnership with Little London School and the Inner Mongolian Education Bureau has led to an enormous and varied amount of delivery that has been tailored specifically to the situation in Inner Mongolia, China. We host a mixture of inbound and outbound programmes, putting Wirral and The City Region on the map “

“The continued growth and expansion of The ISA into other international markets is a testament to the hard work of ISA staff and the success of our China programmes. We pride ourselves in giving detailed, quality and appropriate programmes that will genuinely develop players and coaches to meet the local football needs and opportunities”

“We are looking forward to increasing both in country and in UK initiatives across Asia working with governments and private partners to deliver quality football development programmes. “

 To find out more about The ISA, as a potential partner or participant, please contact Qifan Wu at