Friday 22 August

Team China lost its final game of IC14 to eventual Division 2 premiers Sweden. 

The result means that Team China finished 16th on the overall ladder and fourth out of the six Division Two teams.


CHINA 4.2 (26) def by SWEDE
N 10.14 (74)
Goals: J Qui 2, Jiaming Pi, Q. Lin

Tuesday 19 August

From the absolute ecstasy of winning our first tournament game against Finland, Team China then experienced the pain of coming agonisingly close to beating our local rival Japan.

The scene was set at Melbourne’s Royal Park for the big grudge match with a finals-like atmosphere. 

We started the game poorly though and spent our energy playing the match on Japan’s terms rather than our natural game. 

This resulted in a quarter time spray by the coach, to which the boys responded in a tough and tight second term. 

The third and fourth quarters were just as tough, with both teams scoring and having plenty of chances. At the end, Japan took the win with a 17-point difference, which is exactly what the quarter time difference was.

Unfortunately China let one slip - a slow start cost us what would be a popular victory. 

However, the learning for the lads was evident and we'll look to put it into action in our final game against Sweden on Friday. 

We look forward to playing four hard quarters and finishing off the tournament in style.

- Jiaming Pi, Team China Coach


CHINA 2.5 (17) def by JAPAN 5.4 (34)
Goals: Jiaming Pi 2

Sunday 17 August

News came through today that instead of facing Finland in our final game, the AFL has rescheduled the remaining matches and Team China will now play Japan. 

The news has the lads very excited, given the rare opportunity to play off in a big test against the Asian powerhouse. 

Saturday 16 August

On Saturday, Team China took international footy to Ballarat as we took on Finland in our community round match. 

Ballarat is the spiritual home to all Chinese migrants in Australia as it was the early home of many from the middle kingdom during the Australian goldrush. 

Team China understood the significance of the venue as well as the significance of getting a win against a European opponent.

Ballarat served the team an absolute freezing morning, with the temperature struggling to hit more than five degrees. 

The locals braved the conditions to watch some international footy. 

With China and Finland both winless so far, each team struggled to hit the scoreboard as the first quarter and from there the Finns found something extra in the second quarter to kick ahead at the main break. 

China needed to lift and was told to spread and play the wings, and that worked as China took control of the game with several scoring shots in the third. 

The final term saw a tight contest but it was China that came away with a memorable four-point victory!

The bus ride back to Melbourne was a great one, the lads enjoyed the victory with some food and drinks and continued into the night with some celebrations!

- Jiaming Pi, Team China Coach


CHINA 3.8 (26) def FINLAND 3.4 (22)
Goals: Peng Gao, Chen Shaoliang, Jiaming Pi


Wednesday 13 August Coming to Australia and participating in the International Cup is about footy and the Australian cultural experience. Having cuddled native Australian animals in the past week as part of Port Adelaide Football Club’s generous hospitality, Team China learnt more about Australian cultural experiences when they faced New Zealand in Round 2.

Team China faced the Kiwis at St Kilda's Seaford training facility, and upon arrival and first inspection of the ground, it was quickly clear that the MCG-sized venue was going to provide plenty of open space for both teams.

Instructions to take on the tournament favourite and two-time champions were to play tight one-on-one footy and utilise the space on rebound, spread and play wide once in possession.

Team China enjoyed what many Australians have witnessed before the game - the Haka - and it was as spine tingling as one can imagine.

The lads stood hands around each other in a 'V' formation opposing the Haka and stared them in the eye to show both respect and toughness - a very proud moment for all involved.

Team China executed its game plan in the first minutes of the game, as the group were full of one-on-one marking and each contest had equal black jumpers and red jumpers. As the game went on, the All Blacks took advantage with their superior skills and footy smarts to take a big lead very quickly.

As each quarter went by, the message to our players was consistent: execute our plan and make learning as much as you can - the scoreboard was never the focus against the superpower Kiwis.

The record will show Team China went down to NZ 0-188 in a fair encounter, but the pleasing result was China avoided a double century defeat and any serious injuries.

At one point of the game China had a chance to score with tall forward Honghui marking the ball 25 metres out straight in front, however through lack of communication by his teammates, he played on and was dispossessed of the footy right away by his NZ opponents - an opportunity missed.

Team China will rest in the next two days with the team only having a handful of school visits before the Round 3 game against Finland on Saturday.

That game will be played as a curtain raiser to VFL match between Williamstown and North Ballarat at the Eureka stadium in Ballarat.

This game is Team China’s community game as they become the first Chinese football team to play in the historically significant Victorian community in over 100 years.

The last time there was a Chinese football team in Ballarat was during the goldrush when local Chinese miners and grocers got together to play the local police and firemen.

Ballarat is the spiritual home to all Chinese migrants in Australia as it enticed many Chinese to leave their homeland more than a century ago in search for gold. Hopefully we can produce some gold of our own.

- Jiaming Pi, Team China Coach


CHINA 0.0 (0) def by NEW ZEALAND 28.25 (193)

Team China faces its first Haka

Tuesday 12 August

Team China started the morning with a fast six-kilometre walk around Newport Lake before a 30-minute team meeting where the team debriefed from Sunday's loss to Canada.

Every player was encouraged to offer their thoughts on how they felt the game went and their performance. 

This process was approached with a great attitude by all the players and the feedback will be used to prepare for our big test against New Zealand next. 

After lunch the main training session before Wednesday's game was held at Burbank Oval before a joint session with the Williamstown Football Club and dinner with their leadership group. 

Team China plays New Zealand on Wednesday at Seaford.

Monday 11 August

On Monday morning Team China braved the cold and took a dip for recovery at Williamstown beach.

Five players conducted a clinic at a local primary school where they answered questions about their country and football, as well as enjoyed some kick-to-kick with the students. 

Following Monday's freezing swim at Williamstown, Team China had the chance to enjoy the sights of Melbourne. 

As they soon discovered, boarding a train in Australia is very different to the practice in China - the boys had the whole train to themselves; normally it's a like a rugby scrum back home. 

Team China went through their first run following Sunday's loss under the keen eye of Williamstown coach Andy Collins at the Burbank Oval. 

The players cooked their dinner for the first time on tour, and after several days eating out, the lads were very glad to tuck into some home-cooked Buk Choy stir fry and steamed rice. 

Team China talks to local Melbourne students about footy and their home country.

Sunday 10 August

Team China started its IC14 campaign on a wintry Sunday afternoon on Melbourne’s city fringe against its first group game opponent - Canada.

There was a typical Melbourne welcome during the warm up with an icy deluge that made conditions less than desirable the fast-paced Chinese outfit desired.

The game started after stirring renditions of the combatant’s respective national anthems and with the raw emotions of representing their country on display, the lads were ready to go. 

As expected, the game went off to a fast start with bodies thrown everywhere as Canada and China went head-to-head showing plenty of physicality. 

The Canadians quickly had control of the game as their polish with the footy shone through; while the Chinese were hard at the footy and man, they made several mistakes switching inside in defence.

It wasn’t until the end of the first half that the Chinese finally troubled the scorer with a point, however as far as this game was concerned, it was never about the scoreboard. 

Team China had pace around the footy but just lacked polish, panicked disposals to the team's disadvantage were critical to Canadian scoring opportunities. 

The Canadians utilised their height superiority well with their ruckman dominating around the ground and a large number of forward entries resulted in tremendous pressure for the Chinese defence.

The final score wasn’t reflective of the competitiveness of Team China against the Canadians, however the record shows  went down  by just over 19 goals.

This game was all about education for the players and on the way back we reflected on the positive and negative points of our performance - our attack on the ball was very encouraging. 

There was one serious injury from the game with midfielder Liu Sheng suffering a broken collarbone from a late Canadian hit, which drew a down field free and 25-metre penalty. 

Liu will be subbed out for the rest of the tournament and is looking at nine weeks in recovery.

- Jiaming Pi, Team China Coach


CHINA 0.1 (1) def by CANADA 19.5 (114)

Team China in the huddle during Sunday's game

Saturday 9 August

Team China went through its final paces at an Alberton Oval training session, before joining with around 6,000 proud and passionate Port Adelaide supporters in the club's traditional pre-game March from the Mall. 

Upon their arrival at the iconic Adelaide Oval, Team China were treated to the full guest treatment, including an on-ground parade at half time and the rare opportunity to stand in the guard of honour as the Power ran onto the field for their clash with the Swans.

Team manager Zhang Hao also featured in an on-screen interview at half time of the big match.


Team China leads the Port Adelaide faithful on the March from the Mall

Friday 8 August

Team China arrived in Adelaide at 5:10am and then went straight onto the Port Adelaide Football Club for breakfast where they had their official team photo at the Adelaide Oval and a joint team photo with the Power's Round 20 team after their training session. 

From there, Team China went to From Orient on Pirie Street for a welcoming reception and official guernsey presentation.

The guernseys have been manufactured by ISC Sport and feature the iconic five gold stars of the Chinese flag on a red body. 

The players then enjoyed the ultimate Australian cultural experience at Cleland Wildlife Park feeding kangaroos and koalas. 

Team China watches the Power train at the Adelaide Oval on Friday afternoon

Power backman Jackson Trengove meets Team China