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Under 9s football match in Wolves is watched by more than half a million people

By Alex Ross | Wolverhampton | News | Published:

Go to a football youth club and you may see the coach, enthusiastic parents and occasionally a man and his dog.

So imagine the surprise of young members of the Wolves Academy when they found themselves playing in front of an audience of more than half a million people.

It happened during a five-a-side friendly game with their counterparts from China, who were on a visit to the Sir Jack Hayward training ground at Compton Park on Sunday.

The under 9 Chinese players were accompanied by Chinese commentator Dong Lu, most famous for falling asleep on air during a Champions League game between Real Madrid and PSG.

And the game was streamed on Weiboand and watched live by the hundreds of thousands of football fans from China.

Wolves Academy's head of coaching and development Marc Campbell said: “We were delighted to welcome the young players and coaches to the academy.

“It was a trip organised by Global Image Sports and their links both with Thomas Cook Sports in China and another company called Xplore.

“The players are over here to gain experience and had done a fair bit of training elsewhere so it was nice to arrange the friendly five-a-side game against some of our players which took place in the Academy Arena.

“We also took the opportunity to show the travelling party around the facilities at Compton Park and they were impressed by what they saw here.

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“All in all it was a very positive experience for everybody concerned and is just another of those relationships that can really help in promoting the work that we do here at Wolves Academy.”

The visit was organised by Wolves in conjunction with the partner organisations.

the team of Chinese players were selected through the sports department of Thomas Cook which has built up a profile in China for promising talented young football players..

Mr Lu was reportedly sacked from Chinese broadcaster LeTV after falling asleep during the second half of Real Madrid's victory over PSG.

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The huge time difference meant Madrid's highly anticipated clash with PSG started at 3.45am in Beijing, where the 45 year-old veteran pundit was covering the match.

Dong, who has more than 20 years experience as a TV football analyst, could be heard snoring during the coverage.

He later apologised

Alex Ross

By Alex Ross
@alexross_star

Chief Reporter at the Express & Star. Everyone has a story - tell me yours.

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