Eagles spreading wings
Eagles keen for tie-up with MLS side through partnership with J2 League side Yamaga
Geylang International are going places, as their partnership with J2 League side Matsumoto Yamaga continues to expand.
In the pipeline are more trials with the Japanese side for Geylang players, the inclusion of the Eagles Under-15 team in a tournament in Japan, and overseas stints and exchange opportunities for coaches and players.
The Eaglets will play in next month's Shinmai Cup in Matsumoto, along with Yamaga, J3 League's Nagano Parceiro and Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake.
Yamaga general manager Yoshiyuki Kato said: "As part of our plans to expand beyond Japan, we have plans to connect with teams in the United States, Mexico, Austria and Holland.
"Geylang would then be able to leverage on these connections with our partner clubs in the future."
This is what Geylang chairman Ben Teng hopes to do, when he establishes a first contact with Real Salt Lake next month.
He said: "Our ultimate objective is to raise the level of football for Geylang International and Singapore.
"With such opportunities, hopefully our local players can learn and improve in terms of skills and attitude.
"Coaches education is also important to us and Noor Ali's stint earlier this year has already shown an impact with the use of video analytics which we picked up from Yamaga.
With such opportunities, hopefully our local players can learn and improve in terms of skills and attitude.Geylang International chairman Ben Teng, on what he hopes to achieve in a proposed tie-up with Major League Soccer side Real Salt Lake Former world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport
"We are grateful to Epson, which sponsors and connects Geylang and Yamaga, without which these relationships would not be possible."
In what is believed to be the first collaboration of its kind between a local team and a J.League outfit, the memorandum of understanding signed by both clubs last November quickly led to training attachments and exchanges for coaches, senior and youth footballers, among other initiatives.
Eagles wingers Gabriel Quak and Shawal Anuar went for a one-week trial earlier this year, along with Noor Ali, who has officially taken over Hasrin Jailani as Geylang head coach.
Yamaga Under-18s coach Hirotaka Usui is also based in Singapore to head the Eagles' centre of excellence this season. He is now their Prime League coach and S.League assistant coach.
Yamaga chairman Hiroshi Otsuki and Kato were in town earlier this week to watch two-time S.League champions Geylang beat Garena Young Lions 2-1 last Sunday, and have shortlisted some players to join them for trials in the off-season.
Next month, the Epson Youth Challenge, a football tournament organised by Epson in collaboration with Geylang International and ActiveSG, will be held in Singapore.
Two MVPs will be selected from the competition to join four players from the Geylang JCOEs and ActiveSG teams, as well as a coach, for a stint with Yamaga in November.
Epson Singapore managing director Tanaka Toshimitsu said: "Epson is very glad to play a role in bringing Geylang and Yamaga together.
"We are excited with the collaboration and hope that this partnership will provide a good platform for local footballers to experience playing football outside of Singapore and in the process help raise the bar for local football."