Ronald Sinclair is an Australian professional referee who has refereed in Gothia Cup China for successive three times. We’ve met him and did an exclusive interview with him.
“It is fantastic. I love China,” said him, “I’ve been to China more than three times. I played football with policemen team. Every time I come, people are so kind and friendly to me. I want to help you, I want to meet to you, I want to talk to you. It’s good fun to come here,” he added.
Sinclair has lots of experience in refereeing. Compared with adult’s matches, he believes the youth game has some specific advantages.
“The youths are better-behaved. They don’t argue so much with referees. With adults I’m more serious,” he laughed, “The youths, they just want to play football. They just want to run around and kick the ball for fun.”
“But they have so much energy. They always run, even in this heat.”
When he was asked about which game is the most impressive one that he has refereed in Gothia Cup China, he thought it was the U17’s final in last year, they did penalty kicks in the end.
“There was a really loud crowd In Gothia Cup China center, in Shenyang. And because it was the final, so it was so exciting.”
As the oldest referee in this tournament, he is 58 now, he didn’t think referee’s age would affect the quality of refereeing. This time, there are so many young referees worked in 2018 Gothia Cup China. “It’s doesn’t matter how old the referee is. There always a side’s coach wants to report referees. The refereeing that I’ve seen had did very well,” said Sinclair.
Sinclair also mentioned those managers who had some disrespectful behaviors to referees. He thinks they were not good models for young players.
“I want to say to them: ‘Why do you say that? Are you teaching your children, your players? Are you going to be a good example to your players?’ I suggested them should set good examples for their players. They should be someone that their players looking to.”
Sinclair used to be a professional footballer and even reached in national level in Australia. He shared his story about why he became a professional referee.
“I always intended when I stop playing on national level I would be a referee and try to be a referee on national level. I was successful in doing that.”
Sinclair said that his father was a professional referee, too. Even if until now, he still brings his father’s whistle with him in every match.
“I start the game using my father’s whistle and kiss it. Then I put it into the pocket and use the proper whistle,” he told us.
According to his words, we can see his passionate about football and refereeing. We will be very glad to meet Sinclair in Gothia Cup China again in the future. We also wish more people, who are interested in football can take part in our tournament and make contribution to youth football development.
By Miranda Cui
Captain might be one of the most important persons in a team. In fact, the good leadership need to be developed since a player’s early age. In Gothia Cup China 2018, we’ve met a lot of young captains and talked to them about their different feelings on this position.
Almost all captains mentioned ‘leadership’ . In Vissel Kobe’s 12-year-old teams, they change their captain every day, this is another way to promote teenagers’ leadership.
“The most important thing for a captain is the leadership,” Hinato Matsui said. He is the captain of Tokyo Verdy’s youth team. “As a captain, besides being able to encourage your teammates and let them be more active, you should also try to push the whole team to work hard,” added Hinato.
Hinato Matsui is a defender in Tokyo Verdy’s U17 team.
The captain of Cheonan FC, Hyo In, 13, told us his thought about his responsibility: “My teammates and I are still very young, I should lead them as their captain.”
Hyo In believes his good relationship with all other boys in the team made him become the captain.
A Canadian captain also expressed the similar idea, he believes that a captain must can be able to support the whole team during the tough time, “When they are not doing well, you gonna do as best as possible.”
His manager had told the 15-year old footballer: “Making sure that you’re responsible to people who is in your team. They mess up, you mess up.”
Under such a highly-required condition, many captains that we’ve seen, no matter how long they’ve been on the position, they still have improved a lot from the experience.
Nakao Yugo, 14, who has become the captain of J-L Juniors for only three days, shared what he has learnt with us: “I helped my coach during the training,” said Nakao, “that makes me have learnt how to manage a team and how to lead them on the field.”
“I was elected by the others, so I don’t want to let them down,” he added.
Li De’en, the captain of Shandong Luneng FC U17 team said: “Compared with just being a player, I need to be stricter with myself,”
“For example, my concept of time has been improved a lot. Because I’m supposed to remind the other players to be on time,” added him.
The 17-year-old boy has played in Luneng’s youth camp system for six years in total. He has become the leader in his team for no more than half a year, he summed up his secret of how to be a good captain.
“You need to be friendly to your teammates and, of course, you should have enough persuasiveness. I always do more than others,“he said.
It is necessary for a captain to be better than anyone else. FC Gifu’s captain, Kai Mizushima,15, said he is not so sure about why his coach let him be the leader, but he thinks that is because of his skills.
Gifu’s manager said Kai has the potential to play in Japanese U15 national team
“Club’s officer asked me to be the leader. Maybe they think that I played much better than others. Now I’m doing my best as a captain for the team.”
His idol is Barcelona’s captain Gerard Pique, but he also appreciates Real Madrid’s captain Sergio Ramos. “I want to have the fighting spirit as Ramos has,” said Kai, “and he defends well for his side whenever he plays.”
All games of the tournament have entered into the knock-out round. Let’s wish all teams can have a satisfying result.
By Miranda Cui
Gothia Cup China 2018 attracts thousands of players to take part in. There are also a lot of players’ parents come to Qingdao to watch their kids’ performances. What’s their opinions about Gothia Cup China.
Lili Bastidas is a mother of two LAUFA’s players—Alexander Bastidas and Anthony Bastidas. This is a Los Angela’s football team. Anthony is the captain of the team. We met her and boys at the Citizen Sports Park Stadium on the second match day.
“Even if Basketball and baseball are more popular in USA, but my boys like football more,” said Ms. Bastidas.
The whole team has experienced a very long flight to Qingdao, China. But in her opinion, it is still worthy for them. “This is a great experience for my children,” she said, “Since they like to play soccer, I think why not let them come to Qingdao.”
Ms. Bastidas is not the only one parent who expressed these words. Qingdao XinMing FC’s forward, Chen Guanlin’s father also believes that the tournament is a great for his son.
Mr. Chen said: “Gothia Cup China is a rare opportunity for my kid to help him get experience. He and his teammates have trained for a long time. This tournament is very high-level so I hope his ability can be tested by it.”
He was very proud of his son. “Guanlin is younger than his teammates but he still did well in the past game. He has been playing football for 5 years.”
Gothia Cup China is aimed to develop young footballers and attract more children to take part into the sport. What’s more, as an international tournament, there are a lot of good teams and this is helpful for rising players’ ability.
“LAUFA’s players are more physical. They are not common to meet if you only play in domestic games,” said Shanghai Shenhua’s youth team manager after they won over the American team.
Young footballers have their discovery as well, “My opponent moved so fast,” said Liu Enhong, a defender of ChenXinAn FC. They got a 1-1 draw with Fayouhui football team on the second match day.
“I must be quicker in the future,“ added him.
It is really glad to see them can be developed from playing football. Mrs. Bastidas said her sons has been improved a lot since they started playing football.
Mrs. Bastidas said: “One of my boys is captain. He talks to other players and knows them. He’s a good leader.”
“I’m willing to see if they can become professional soccer players, they can represent USA to play in World Cup stage,” she added.
By Miranda Cui