Jan Olde Riekerink, head of youth development, is currently in China to support the Chinese national team as they prepare for the Asian Games, which begin in Qatar in January 2011.
The Ajax coach has been in China for about one week. His visit results from Ajax’s collaboration with China. The club from Amsterdam established a three year contract with the Chinese Football Association (CFA) in 2009, thus becoming the CFA’s official youth training partner. As a result of this co-operation, Olde Riekerink was in China last October to train the coaches of the Under 17 and Under 19 teams. Gao Hongbo, the Chinese national team coach, was also in attendance. At the invitation of the Chinese football league’s most senior executive, Wei Di, that October visit is now being followed up by this one, focussing on the Chinese national team.
Olde Riekerink spoke to reporter Erol Elman from Ajax TV on camera this week about this trip. “This is a fascinating experience”, said the head of Ajax’s youth training program. “The Chinese players possess surprisingly good individual core skills. There’s still room for improvement tactically, especially when it comes to details. But there’s a lot of potential in China, a lot of talent available.”
Jan Olde Riekerink observes the Chinese national team. He analyses the team under the supervision of national team coach Gao Hongbo, and, when there’s room in the agenda, he tries to help players individually, for example by talking to them about fulfilling their role in the team.
China won their practice match against Estonia 3-0 last weekend. The second and last practice match on the agenda takes place on the 22nd against Macedonia, and Ajax TV will be there.