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Fit-again Hao sets sights on Premiership prize with Blades
(China Daily)
Updated: 2005-07-14 05:59

Sheffield United have forged links in China and Hao believes more of his countrymen will follow the path taken by himself, Manchester City's Sun Jihai and Everton's Li Tie.

"I think more and more Chinese players will come to England to play," he predicts.

Later this week, Sheffield United embark on an 11-day pre-season tour of China and Hao is looking forward to the experience.

"I'm very excited because it will be the first time I've represented a foreign club, playing in China. There won't be many chances to do this in the future, so its something I'm very much looking forward to.

"There are a lot of people, including football fans and the media, who are paying a lot of attention to the tour. English football has changed a lot and they want to see how big the change is. They want to see the ability of the Sheffield United players.

"If you had asked someone in China last year about Sheffield United, they would have said, 'Who's that?' But Sheffield United are getting very famous in China due to my presence. If you asked them about Sheffield United now, they would say, Sheffield United is Hao Haidong's team."

That is a state of affairs that Hao expects to continue for some time.

"My contract lasts for three years and I want to put in full effort as a player during that time. I'll then convert from a player to a coach, which may take another few years, so I'll be staying for as long as possible."

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