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Academy coach involved in China training event

Newcastle United Academy coach, Tony Threlfall, has been involved in a two-day training event in China ahead of this summer's Premier League Asia Trophy.

Tony, along with coaches from Manchester City, Wolverhampton Wanderers and West Ham United, carried out the workshop at Nanjing's Jiangsu Suning Academy to 32 youth coaches from the Chinese Super League clubs, providing an insight into the relevant topics which create an elite-level environment within Premier League Academies.

This included training for both Chinese Super League youth coaches from all 16 Chinese Super League clubs and PE School teachers associated with Premier Skills, six weeks before the Premier League Asia Trophy.

Tony, who holds a UEFA A Licence, works full-time as a Football Development Officer at Newcastle United Foundation as well as a part-time Academy Foundation Phase coach.

He said: "It's really exciting to be in Nanjing and working with the coaches from the Chinese Super League. 

"The main thing we've seen this week is the sharing of ideas and best practice from the Premier League clubs, and with the Chinese Super League clubs. The most important part is understanding the individual player, rather than looking at the team as a whole. Knowing your players. 

"It's really important that we look at the whole of the Academy system as not just an individual effort. If we're going to develop players it has to be a team effort."

As part of the existing Mutual Cooperation Agreement with the Chinese Super League to help support the local game (which sees a newly revised focus on youth development) and linked to this summer’s Premier League Asia Trophy, the Premier League are delivering both elite-level and grassroots football development events.

Newcastle United will compete in the competition, facing Wolves in Nanjing on Wednesday, 17th July before taking on either Manchester City or West Ham in Shanghai on Saturday, 20th July.

He said: "The main thing is that we know the things we're doing back in the UK are working. West Ham are doing the same things. Wolves are doing the same things, Manchester City are doing the same things. That tells me we're all working very hard together with the Premier League to produce better players.

"We've seen that sharing the information filters down to Chinese Super League clubs, and then to grassroots clubs and to community clubs, and that can only give us a bigger pool of clubs and hopefully make China a strong team. 

"They're very interested, they ask some good questions, they challenge my ideas and that's always a good thing." 

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