Aimed at providing unique coaching opportunities for youngsters, the Reds will now deliver ongoing coaching programmes to children aged five to 16 across Greater Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province to help them learn to play ‘The Liverpool Way’. 

The project’s mission is to develop the participants both on and off the pitch; encouraging them to get active and improve their football skills, while also improving important skills in everyday life, such as character, teamwork, confidence and integrity.

Li Sheng’s objective is to build 30 football centres in the region in the next five years, with the first Liverpool FC International Academy to be built and opened in 2022 at its Nanhaizi football park in the south of Beijing. From this flagship centre, with state-of-the-art footballing facilities and classrooms, the programme will be delivered to hundreds of children and coaches each week.

Once the 2022 Winter Olympics are complete, Li Sheng will have a facility at the Bird’s Nest national stadium, too, ensuring that the Liverpool FC International Academy Beijing has visibility at one of the most iconic sporting venues in China.

Players will improve their football skills and develop their technical, tactical and physical abilities through age-specific coaching sessions. Through the unique coaching methods of Liverpool FC, there will also be a focus on educating the young participants in the history, culture and traditions of the beautiful game.

Local coaches will also be involved and will benefit from a comprehensive coach education scheme, which will include the LFC International Academy global accreditation, to deliver coaching ‘The Liverpool Way’.

While the initial focus is to launch the project in Beijing, the plan in time is to expand the network of Li Sheng football centres and Liverpool FC International Academies into other Chinese provinces, to make LFC coaching experiences available to as many young players as possible. 

Dan White, vice president, LFC International Academies, said: “Our International Academies create many fantastic opportunities for young players around the world to improve their skills and be developed via our unique coaching methods. 

“We are absolutely delighted to be expanding our programme to Beijing to provide opportunities for young players in the region to be coached ‘The Liverpool Way’. This is also a key step forward for the UK and China working together in football development.”

Ian Rush, LFC International Academy ambassador and legendary former player, said: “We are extremely excited to be bringing the LFC International Academy to Beijing. The curriculum is based on the LFC Academy philosophy and practices; with an active and educational programme, that will provide excellent opportunities for local players and coaches in China.”

Mr Chunyu Zhang, vice president of Li Sheng, said: “Over the years, we have built a strong relationship with our English partners. We hope to combine their expertise with our local resources in Beijing, to provide an exceptional experience to the football community in China.”

Alex Arnold, LFC IA Beijing head coach, added: “We can’t wait to get started!”