Wellington Phoenix and Chinese Super League club form strategic partnership

The Wellington Phoenix have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Chinese Super League team Tianjin Jinmen Tiger F.C. which will see both clubs work together to promote the development of football in their cities.

As part of the Wellington Phoenix Tianjin Tiger Sister City Friendship the clubs have committed to an annual match between their men’s first teams.

The first Wellington Phoenix F.C. Tianjin Tiger F.C. Sister City Shield match is scheduled to be played in Tianjin in September 2024, with the second fixture in Wellington next year.

The strategic partnership has come about after Phoenix general manager David Dome visited Tianjin in September as part of a business delegation led by Wellington mayor Tory Whanau.

The club in return hosted a delegation from Tianjin last month and the two parties signed the MoU in the mayor’s office.

“The mayoral delegation to China last year was invaluable and I’m thrilled about this partnership with Tianjin Jinmen Tiger, which will be of benefit to the club on multiple levels,” Dome said.

“Not only will the men get to play a Chinese Super League side as part of their A-League pre-season each year, but the academy will soon benefit from an influx of footballers from Tianjin.

“We’re looking to grow our academy to have an international component and Tianjin Jinmen have committed to sending some young players to Wellington to attend training camps in July and we’re discussing the possibility of their juniors being part of a new international academy annual programme.

“International students are essential for the secondary and tertiary education sector in Wellington and we are evaluating how an elite international academy focused on football can be part of New Zealand’s international education offering.”

Wellington mayor Tory Whanau says the city is thrilled about the opportunity.

“I’d like to congratulate David Dome and the wider team for the work they’ve done on this MoU,” Whanau said.

“I’m beyond stoked that the delegation last September has resulted in this MoU between the Wellington Phoenix and Tianjin Jinmen Tiger.

“The development opportunities for both the clubs will be invaluable to not only football but also our cities.”

About Tianjin Jinmen Tiger F.C.

Tianjin Jinmen Tiger F.C. is a professional football club based in Tianjin, the seventh largest city in China, and play in the Chinese Super League.

Tianjin Jinmen Tiger is one of just four clubs to have never been relegated from the top tier of Chinese football since the Super League was founded in 2004.

Their best finish came in 2010, when they were finished runners-up to Shandong Luneng.

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