Ashford can now confirm that they will be playing an international friendly match on Thursday 17 August at their Short Lane ground against a club from China, Tianjin FC, kick-off 7.45 p.m.

A club spokesman said “at first we thought the request may be something of a wind up but it appears not and we are going ahead, approval having been granted through Middlesex County FA.  All we know is that Tianjin won their regional league and as a reward have been given a free week long trip to England.  As well as the match, they also wish to watch a youth training session at Short Lane the previous evening, as their owners and management are very interested in finding out all they can about how football is organised at this level in the UK.  It may be the first ever friendly match between a club at our level and one from mainland China.

It is not the ideal time to be playing a friendly and Ashford have made it known that they will not be fielding their entire 1st side, given that on the Saturday they will be entertaining Wembley FC in the FA Cup.  It was though such a novel opportunity that we did not feel we could turn it down.  Entry on the night will be entirely free of charge.”