Cheadle Town will be jetting off to China in May to take part in four matches and, in turn, notch up their 100th overseas match since the club’s inception in 1961.
The trip came about in collaboration with Steve Bellis – former Commercial Director of Stockport County – who is now Director of a company called Kickworldwide, whose aim is to build, support and service grassroots football in countries without a sophisticated football development structure.
Cheadle Town Chairman Chris Davies has experienced every single trip abroad but is no less excited by the prospect of travelling to China:
“Ever since 1963 – when the trips began – the club has continued to fulfil a tradition of playing football across the world because we understand that there is a lot to learn from playing teams of different nationalities who appreciate the beautiful game.
“Over the years we have been honoured to meet some wonderful people including Brazilian star Jairzinho and the former Prime Minister of India Rajiv Ghandi. We have also played in the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City and are the only UK-based club to play in Cuba”
The China trip will add another unique element in that Cheadle Town will be the first UK-based club to play in the Shaanxi province – considered to be one of the cradles of Chinese civilisation – as they will be playing in its capital Xian, one of the four great ancient capitals of China.
In between matches they will be conducting activities in accordance to Kickworldwide’s ethos, such as providing training and coaching to local schools.
The squad depart Manchester on Saturday 20th May for Beijing – making use of Hainan Airlines’ brand-new direct service – before moving on by high-speed train to Xian.
The four matches will pit Cheadle Town against teams from China’s third and fourth tiers and the club expect to have the list of their opponents confirmed within the next couple of weeks.
The squad have already met Peter Gao – the China Consultant for Kickworldwide – who will be acting as host and translator for the trip to sort out the necessary visa documents, as well as trying to pick up some key Mandarin phrases!
There are various sponsorship opportunities available for individuals and businesses alike. Anyone interested should get in touch with the Cheadle Town Chairman Chris Davies on (0161) 428 2510 or 07711 670782 or you can email email@example.com