Owners CFFC have a strong commitment to building on the traditions and history of the century-old club, which is one of the biggest clubs in the China Super League. Speaking at the launch, club chairman Zhao Hongjing spoke about their desire to ensure their long-term success: “Looking all over the world, whenever there is a powerful football club, there is always a complete set of infrastructure to back it up. Both the club and head coach Pellegrini take the construction of a youth training system very seriously, and we believe that it’s like a football philosophy and strategy, just like that practiced by the youth training echelon of FC Barcelona.”
Located in Gu’an County of Hebei Province, approximately 50km south of Beijing, the training base will include 12 FIFA standard soccer fields, a training hub, medical center, hotel and apartments, gym and support facilities.
Populous senior principal leading the design team, Andrew James, said the launch, which comes after nearly two years of research and planning, marked an exciting time for the company with the football world closely following the growth of the game in China. “This facility has been benchmarked against the world’s best training centers, with a focus on the European football model. CFFC spent 12 months visiting some 20 football training centers in Europe and provided us with an extensive design brief of their requirements. Our task was to assimilate all their technical requirements into a design that was functional, efficient and aesthetically pleasing. We have set out to create an environment where the footballers love coming to work, to train, to socialize, to enjoy themselves.”
For head coach Manuel Pellegrini, the training base is a very important platform for the development of the club over the next decade. “We will build-up an entire youth training system here. If there is not a good training base, all the other things will not make any sense.”
Populous has designed facilities for professional soccer clubs right around the world, from national venues like Wembley Stadium and new homes for Premier League clubs like Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal, in London in the UK, to FIFA World Cup stadia in Brazil and South Africa.
Construction on the training base will begin in early April and be completed by mid-2018.
Images: courtesy of Populous.
February 1, 2017