Eagles' Japanese flavour
S.League side Geylang eye Yamaga player after inking partnership with J2 club
Geylang International signed a memorandum of understanding with Japanese outfit Matsumoto Yamaga FC yesterday, and the S.League side are not wasting time in assembling a stronger team for next year's challenge.
Geylang chairman Ben Teng revealed they were in talks with the J2 club to sign a player ahead of next year's S.League campaign.
"The S.League allows us to have a maximum of three foreign players in our team," said Teng, who was speaking on the sidelines of the MOU signing ceremony at The Float at Marina Bay.
"Next season is very important to us, and we are really hoping we will be able to get a player from Yamaga.
"It will not only help with the performance of the team, but also allow our players to learn directly from Yamaga on the field."
Negotiations are underway between both clubs, and Teng said an announcement will be made at an opportune time.
Yesterday's event featured a football clinic for children led by Geylang players and coaches from the two clubs.
The MOU, which was initiated by Epson, a company that sponsors both clubs, will allow the Eagles to build on Yamaga's expertise, specifically on youth development.
Yamaga were promoted to the top flight in Japan last year, but were relegated to J2 after one season.
The MOU could see player and coach exchanges.
Yoshiyuki Kato, Yamaga managing director, also hopes that the J-League will gain popularity in Singapore, with the club's involvement here.
"We know that Singaporeans are big fans of the English Premier League, so we're hoping that with us coming here more often and making our name known here, we can introduce the J.League to more Singaporeans," said Kato.
"We would like to build on our fan-base here, but our priority is still youth development."
"To change any human being's mindset is difficult but, hopefully with our coaches being sent here, we can build upon the current youth development programmes Geylang FC have," he added.
"What we are looking at is allowing the kids to grow up, while pushing for skills development.
"We are looking at bringing some of our coaches here to conduct training programmes for the youngsters from Geylang, and possibly bring some of our players here as well.
"Players from both sides can learn from one another, and it will allow for a lot of learning both at home and overseas."
With no collaboration or exchanges like this, there will be no experience of learning from different countries, andthat is also what football is about. This is a great opportunity to make Geylang FC a great club in Singapore.
- Matsumoto Yamaga’s academy director, Takeshi Yamazaki