China’s football development and the role of education

Soccerex China 2018

The Studio | 17 April 2018 | 2:00 PM - 2:45 PM

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China's National Football Plan presents a bold vision for the World's most populous nation to become a major player in the World's number one sport. At its core is youth development, challenging the nation to produce elite home grown players and create an ecosystem for grassroots football that must be connected to the national education system. In this session, in partnership with Cruyff Football, a panel of regional and international experts will explore the synergies between football and education and look at key challenges in fulfilling China's football objectives: Is there a need for a Chinese football DNA? How do you best align football methodologies within an academic framework in order to create it? How do you organize a coaching education system capable of producing the thousands of qualified coaches required? And how should football and academic policies be integrated in order to nurture the best Chinese talents?

Suggested for: Performance


Wim Jonk
Cruyff Football

Wim Jonk’s playing career saw him at clubs such as Volendarm, Ajax, Inter Milan, PSV and Sheffield Wednesday, whilst also appearing 49 times for his country The Netherlands. After his career as a player, Jonk featured as a TV football analyst and also returned to FC Volendam as the board member for technical affairs. Between 2008 and 2015, he worked for Ajax as an individual technical skills trainer, Head of Academy and member of the Technical Heart. Since 2016, he and Jordi Cruyff co-manage and lead the international football institute Cruyff Football, which is responsible for managing, protecting, sharing, developing and implementing the Cruyff football vision worldwide.

Ruben Jongkind
Cruyff Football
Head of Talent Development

Ruben is the former Head of Talent Development of the Academy at AFC Ajax Amsterdam and co-writer of the Plan Cruyff. One of the main pillars of this visionary plan was the necessary upgrade and reform of the Ajax youth academy, based on an individual approach in talent development. Ruben was appointed Head of Talent Development and became responsible for the implementation of the plan in the academy in 2011. Between 2012 and December 2015, he implemented the Plan Cruyff and by doing so revolutionized the academy and the club as a whole.

Gérard Houllier
Red Bull
Head of Global Football

Gérard is a French football manager and former player, who spent most of his career at Le Touquet. He is known for having managed big clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain, Lens, Liverpool and Lyon.

Houllier was appointed as Technical Director and Assistant to the France national team in 1988, where his role was to oversee the Clairefontaine and the development of players such as Thierry Henry who were central to the French side that won the FIFA World Cup and the 2000 UEFA European Championships. Along with this role he was part of the UEFA and FIFA Technical Committee in the 2002 and 2006 World Cup finals.

Since July 2012, Houllier has been Head of Global Football for Red Bull. He is responsible for the Red Bull Salzburg, RB Leipzig and the New York Red Bulls.