Shaanxi aims to enter China's second division football league by 2019
XI'AN, March 21 (Xinhua) -- As the only professional football team in Northwest China's Shaanxi province at present, Chang'an Athletic football team aimed to enter to China's second division league at the end of the season, said its head coach Zhao Changhong.
"Many teams of the third division will compete for the 2.5 precious promotion places, but we will never quit," said Zhao in Chang'an Athletic FC's new season kicking-off ceremony on Monday.
Shaanxi once had its own proud professional team, Shaanxi National Power from 1996 to 2005. The team grabbed the trophy of China's second division league in 2000. But the team was disqualified from the Chinese Football Association in 2004, and was disbanded in 2005 due to malicious nonpayment of wages.
Chang'an Athletic was established in 2016, and threw Shaanxi fans into a frenzy when the team topped in the 13th China's National Games men's football event (cities group) last year.
Chang'an Athletic will face Hebei on Sunday in the second round of the season's Chinese Football Association Cup, kicking off its campaign in the new season.
According to the Overall Plan of Shaanxi football Reform and Development unveiled in 2015, the province plans to have a local Chinese Super League side by 2020.