CHEN Shaoliang

Footy player

About This Project

I was born in Chaozhou to a family of farmers and went on to study sports management at Guangzhou Sports University.

 

In 2012, the AFL came to my university to draft international players. That was my first experience of Australian football. They saw that I could jump and invited me to Australia. I later became the South China Australian Football League’s leading goal kicker, as well as the captain of Team China.

 

In 2016, I was invited to train with Port Adelaide Football Club. It was a dream opportunity for me, to become a professional footy player. But I injured my knee during my first week of training, and spent a year in rehabilitation. I was upset, but I never gave up. I spent that time in rehabilitation helping Chinese fans to better understand AFL, as Port Adelaide’s China ambassador.

 

During his visit to Australia in March 2017, I showed Premier Li Keqiang the basic skills and rules of AFL. He encouraged me to bring this game to China.

 

My rehabilitation was completed in July 2017 and I led Team China to a historical breakthrough at the 2017 AFL International Cup, winning four out of five games.

 

In August, I finally wore the Port Adelaide Football Club jumper after a 17 month wait, debuting in the South Australian National Football League reserves. I became the first Chinese player to play in a senior Australian rules league.

 

Chen Shaoliang is an AFL player with Port Adelaide Football Club.

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