Scouting in Ordos
Well I'm starting my last day in Ordos, tomorrow I fly to Beijing then onto Manchester via Paris so a bit of a mission before I arrive home in Oxton.
As I mentioned in my previous blog for my last week in China I travelled to Ordos. We were invited by the Inner Mongolia Government to scout a High School tournament. They wanted us to pick a squad by selecting the best players on show.
The size of the squad they wanted was 30 which doesn't sound too bad, the challenge came when we found out there would only be two of us scouting, bearing in mind there were 16 teams each team averaging about 20 players so roughly we have had to look at 320 boys over three days!!!! They used two school pitches for the venues, as you can see from the pictures the standard of the pitch and facilities were very good. The tournament consisted of 16 teams split into four groups so for the first 3 days we watched four games a day, the fourth day was the quarter finals the following day the semi finals and the last day the final. I have to say it was well organised and ran very smoothly. Although we weren't involved, the girls would mirror the games format so on site were 640 boys & girls!!!! I'll even have to give the officials a bit of credit as they too performed to a high standard.
Anyway we selected 30 players, they will now go on to represent the Inner Mongolia Government against other provinces. I have to say from my experience coaching in China the standard has improved considerably from what I saw two years ago. More structure to the coaching sessions plus coaches with a better understanding and a qualified knowledge of the game has helped the development of the players.
Well before I go I must tell you who won the tournament. The final was played between Hai La er No1 (from a town called Huluber, East Mongolia) v Boatou No1. To get to the final these boys had played five games in five days winning every one. Hai La er won the game 1-0.
We all attended the closing ceremony which was great to see as all 640 boys and girls lined up on the pitch all bearing a flag to identify the school they were representing.
Well that's how my last week in China went... now it's home for the World Cup, wached the game v Tunisia but with the time difference to Russia the kick off time was 2am so I'm off to bed now ready for my journey back to Birkenhead.
See you all soon