As we speak, I’m in Turkey at our training camp 2014 preseason tour before the start of the Chinese Super League (CSL) 2014. We are here for two weeks to focus and prepare for the coming season, where we play 14 games before the World Cup in Brazil and then 16 games after the World Cup ending in November.
Our goal for the season is very specific; We want to attack the CSL top 3 and hopefully reach the qualification for the Asian Champions League 2015. Furthermore, we want to help our club and organization to improve and reach a more professional level as it’s a young club that is only 2 years old.
This first week in Turkey has mostly been about our defensive and offensive organization, and of course, we put on a lot of physics as well, because we obviously need to run more km in the matches than last season. That was a very clear analysis from last season - we do not run enough meters comparing with the other top teams.
Attitude and spirit are also key factors for us building up a strong and competitive training and winning culture and things look better and better from day to day.
It’s a great journey for a young coach like me to be involved in such a challenge building up a club in a different culture together with a head coach like Sven Göran Eriksson, who has tons of experience and knowledge about top football, so I’m really enjoying my personal development as well. The staff has a good setup and we all agree how we want to take this club forward.
We have also brought in a few young players to lower the average age on the team + get new energy and motivation in the team. And I must say; Until now, the young boys have done very well and some of them are useful in the CSL as well, which is very positive for Guangzhou R&F as a club bringing forward the new generation of players in China.