China U-21 to play in Croatian second-tier league to seek quick improvement

BEIJING, July 10 (Xinhua) -- China's Under-21 national team is to play in Croatia's second-tier football league from August to November, head coach Cheng Yaodong has confirmed.

China will depart for Croatia around August 5 and stay there until early November, Cheng said.

"During this period we will play 12 Croatian second-tier league games. We will also try to fit in five to eight friendlies," he said.

Cheng conceded that having his team play in an overseas league would hopefully improve their ability, which he said had been on the slide.

"As our players' quality is declining, we hope it will help them raise their level by bringing them to play abroad as a team," he said.

"The domestic games my players played fell short of our expectations in terms of quality and effect."

"In my opinion, if the team's quality and results pick up in the near future, we don't necessarily have to maintain a long-time camp abroad. What we are now pursuing is a short-term effect, which we hope could be a help to us," Cheng said.

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