Sat, Nov 25, 2006 - Page 20 News List

China's Zheng impresses Charlton coach Les Reed

AFP , LONDON

China's Zheng Zhi, left, struggles for the ball with Singapore's Abdul Halim Mohammad Isa during their qualifying match for the AFC Asian Cup in Singapore on Sept. 6. The match ended 0-0.

PHOTO: EPA

China captain Zheng Zhi could earn a move to English Premiership club Charlton after impressing in a trial.

Shandong Luneng star Zheng, 26, trained with the Charlton squad on Thursday before flying to Qatar to take part in the Asian Games.

Charlton head coach Les Reed admitted he was impressed by the player, who can operate in defense or midfield.

Reed said: "The impression I have at the moment, and knowing his record with the Chinese national team, I see no reason why he could not play well in the Premiership."

enthusiastic

"He joined in training and looked very much at home and I was impressed with what I saw," Reed said. "He seems very enthusiastic, looks technically very competent and a very good athlete."

"His record in China is very good and we are looking forward to seeing how he plays at the Asian Games in Qatar, and will monitor his progress there," he said. "It was a very brief visit with us, but we will follow up on that."

another spell

Zheng, who has already had trials with Hertha Berlin and English club Southampton, will be offered another spell at Charlton after the Asian Games.

Reed believes China should not be overlooked as a market for Premiership players.

decent players

"You have only got to look at the size of the population, the number of clubs and players and you have got to say that there must be some decent players out there," he said.

"We think Zheng has the possibility of being one of them," he said.

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