ALBION said farewell to Hong Kong and China and the Premier League Asia Trophy hoping to have further cemented the Club’s new partnership with the Far East.
The Baggies have proved popular visitors 39 years after their historic first trip to this region, combining profile-raising opportunities with the hard graft of preparing for the new Premier League campaign.
Albion were the only competing team to make a trip into mainland China while the returns of 1978 visitor Brendon Batson, as the Club’s official Legend for the tour, and one-time Hong Kong resident Tony Pulis generated major media coverage.
In between the two games against Leicester City and Crystal Palace, Albion took a day trip to China to get a first-hand view of Guochuan Lai’s vision for the future of a partnership separated by nearly 6,000 miles.
The Club’s controlling shareholder timed the announcement of a major new development deal involving main sponsors Palm and Bao'an district authorities in Shenzhen with Albion’s first ever appearance in the Premier League Asia Trophy Club.
Chairman John Williams, Chief Executive Martin Goodman and Pulis also visited one of Lai’s “soccer camps” where Albion coaches Ashley Lovell. Aaron Moses Garvey, Sam Green and Lawrence Roberts have been delivering the Premier League Academy expertise to 350 excited youngsters.
Williams said: “It has been a fantastic experience for the club which I hope we can repeat in the future.
“The tournament superbly organised and we have been looked after brilliantly throughout the trip.
“I’d also like to thank our supporters who came all the way out here to back us. They were a credit to the club and we look forward to seeing them all in the future.
“It was a great experience for everyone,” Pulis added. “We have absolutely loved it and I’m sure we will be back.
“The tournament has delivered and once the weather settled down we were able to get in some good training.
“But it was also wonderful to go over to the mainland and see for ourselves Mr Lai’s projects close-up. He has got a lot of exciting plans and it was good for us to see them at first hand.”