Valencia may play in Singapore next year
Spanish side say full team can play at National Stadium only next year
Valencia will not be making a Singapore stopover as part of their pre-season plans this year, according to the club's commercial and marketing director Peter Draper.
It had been recently suggested that the Spanish giants, owned by Singaporean billionaire Peter Lim, could visit the island state for the first time as early as this June.
But Draper, 63, told The New Paper yesterday that the earliest the club can send their full team to play a friendly here will be 2017.
He said: "We are not coming here with the full team this year because of two reasons.
"The first is facility availability. There's nothing in pre-season available at the Sports Hub because of National Day Parade preparations.
"We also have problems, like most teams in Europe this year, because of the European Championship, Copa America and Olympic Games, which take players out of our squad at various times.
"Actually, it's impossible.
"Earliest, with the full team, will be next year. We only want to go somewhere with the full team."
Instead, Los Che will send "five or six players" to Singapore in May to participate in football and marketing events.
The club have been eager to grow the brand outside Spain since Lim took control in May, 2014.
Last July, they opened their first overseas office by setting up their Asian headquarters in Singapore.
Draper revealed they are introducing several initiatives to "embed ourselves within football here".
For instance, they will be setting up a football school here to be run by a Valencia coach.
He said: "We will make an announcement in a couple of weeks about appointing a local licensee to establish a soccer school here.
"We expect that to be up in about eight to 10 weeks. One of our guys who does his work in Spain will be here to take charge of the school. He's one of our guys.
"They are genuine Valencians. They know our way and we want to impart that in a very nice way."
Valencia are also in talks with the Football Association of Singapore to see how they can support their development programmes.
One area being explored is locating some Valencia coaches in Singapore "on a full-time basis" to help groom local coaches and players.
On whether Valencia's mediocre performances this season - they are currently 12th in the 20-team La Liga - have hampered their progress in growing their brand, Draper said: "At an organisational level, we are doing all the things that should ensure better success on the field...
"It's about building this, and not being overly worried about one year's disappointing performances."