Singapore, June 2016 – Global technology leader Epson today announced another overseas training attachment to increase overseas development opportunities for local youth footballers. A group of six Under-14 (U-14) and Under-15 (U-15) players selected by both Epson Singapore and the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) are attending a week-long training attachment with prestigious J-League Club Matsumoto Yamaga FC from 12-20 June in Japan.
This trip is the second attachment to the J-League club initiated by Epson Singapore, as part of its three-year partnership deal with FAS inked in 2013, and the increase in the size of the attachment is a reflection of Epson Singapore’s continued commitment to the development of youths through sports, one of the leading tenets of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives.
The six National Football Academy (NFA) U-14 and U-15 players, made up of Marc Ryan Tan Wei Ming, Chua Zikos Vasileios Ming Xun, Ashley Yong Cheng Wai, Christian Chiang Moroni, Elijah Lim and Muhammad Nur Adam Bin Abdullah, were selected based on technical skills, discipline, maturity and passion. Two of the boys, Adam and Elijah, were also part of the original team of 3 U-14 players handpicked for the first attachment in June 2015.
Learning from previous trips, the latest attachment will see the youths receive more training, with the inclusion of personal coaching sessions by Yamaga’s coaching team, as well as participation in practice matches with their Japanese counterparts in order to improve their skills on the pitch. Off the pitch, the players will be able to observe Yamaga’s first team’s training session and also official matches of both the Club’s youth and first team in Alwin Stadium.
To provide a holistic experience, the boys will be staying in the Club’s dormitory during the attachment, and participate in an immersive tour of the local sights and attractions in Matsumoto and the surrounding region. In addition, the boys will also visit Epson’s headquarters in Suwa, Nagano Prefecture, Japan, where they will experience the company’s museum and see the latest in Epson’s wide range of products, including smart glasses and wearables under the company’s Moverio and Runsense labels.
“In order to bridge the gap in international exposure that our local youth footballers receive compared to their regional counterparts, Epson is proud to be able to facilitate the overseas attachment again this year. We have expanded the programme to include a larger contingent, and this latest regime will see the boys receive more training, based on feedback from both coaches and the boys last year. We hope to inspire and help nurture more youths to realise their dreams and develop strong values through sports, especially football,” said Ms. Tan May Lin, Epson Singapore’s General Manager (Sales, Marketing & Customer Service Division).
“We greatly welcome the continuation of this exchange program and wish to thank everyone at Epson, our club’s main sponsor, and Epson Singapore who made it happen. There is no doubt that this international exchange with Singapore, which is in line with the J League’s Asian business expansion strategy and one-country one-club exchange program, will be a step toward globalizing our club’s brand,” said Takeshi Yamazaki, academy director of Kabushiki Kaisha Matsumoto Yamaga.
“Apart from training daily on the Karigane Ground in Matsumoto, the six players from the academy will participate in a practice match as members of the Matsumoto Yamaga football club and receive individual training. They will also do some sightseeing in Matsumoto, stay in the Matsumoto Yamaga dormitory, and experience Japanese culture. We will also have them help run a home game (against Yamagata) in packed Alwin Stadium and enjoy a live match. “We hope that this exchange program will be a catalyst to further development of the relationship between the Football Association of Singapore and our club and that, through the agency of athletics, we contribute to exchanges and friendship between our two countries,” added Director Yamazaki.
“Since last year’s attachment, we’ve seen Adam and Elijah progress both on and off the pitch in their skills and attitudes, and they’ve grown to become role models to their team mates and juniors. This trip would allow the boys to grow even further still in terms of technique, learning from some of the best in Asia. More importantly, we want to get the boys to change their mind-set and awareness, and learn (from the Japanese players on how) to influence their environment in Singaporean football,” said Rob Servais, head coach of the Singapore U-15 squad, National Football Academy, Football Association of Singapore.