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Bangkok Glass FC visit at Cerezo Osaka academy

Off the pitch - Report BGFC delegation

image: Bangkok Glass FC

Earlier this year the TPL agreed on cooperation with the Japanese J-League. However, not only the league also some clubs went into close collaborations with their Japanese counterparts.

Bangkok Glass was the first club which announced such one this year with Cerezo Osaka, followed by Chonburi FC a few weeks later with Vissel Kobe. Hence, a Bangkok Glass delegation visited his new partner club in June. Primarily it was about to visit the youth academy and to get an inside view on how the youth development is structured at their new partners. The delegation from Thailand consisted of Supasin Leelarit (General Manager), Ariya Dhananukulkit (Deputy Manger), two youth coaches Aktaporn Chalitaporn and Yoshiaki Maruyama, as well as academy director Hans Emser.

The traveled ones where welcomed by Cerezo chairman Mr. Masao Okano. He took a whole day for the visitors and explained the structures of the club roughly during a first meeting. He pointed out that all officers are working in fulltime and are equipped with knowledge in football. On an interesting note, Mr. Okano was able to outline the structures of his youth teams on a sheet of paper, offhand! Therefore, the clubs youth teams are mainly build of an U18, three U15 and one U10 / 12 team. A detailed inspection of the Kincho and Nagai stadium facilities was next on the programme, followed by watching a training session of the seniors where everybody was welcomed by head coach Sergio Soares.

On the subsequent day the BGFC delegation participated a meeting with all Cerezo youth trainers. Afterwards even the instructors had to do some practical training. It takes place bi-weekly with all reporting about their respective age group. It is also an update about what it is going on and what is new. Furthermore lectures for the coaches are held from time to time. After work has done, everybody got some refreshment at the Cerezo cafe, in which of course, souvenirs of Shinji Kagawa can be found. However, the Manchester new entry never arose from the youth academy of the club. A professional contract was offered to him at the age of 17 years.

Notwithstanding, the balance of the clubs youth development is absolutely worthy of notice. Six players out of the current J-League squad went trough the ranks of the Cerezo academy. With Hotaru Yamaguchi and Takahiro Ogihara even two can be found in Japan's Olympic squad. Chonburi coach Withaya Laohakul, by the way, played for the club from 1977 to 1978 (at that time still Yanmar Diesel), before he eventually moved to German side Hertha BSC.

Cerezo youth on a scribble

Bangkok Glass FC

Before it was on to visit a J-league match on the third and last day of the visit, a final meeting and lecture were on the programme in the morning. That time It was about details and small things of the structures and how these look at the example of Cerezo. The aim is to form young players to future national team players and to see them making it abroad. It would contribute to the reputation of the club. Like Kagawa did.

Furthermore in the course of the session it turned out that the setup of the youth centre is based on knowledge transferred from Germany as Academy Director Isao Miamoto informed. There are close ties to Germany and the Japanese visiting Borussia Dortmund every year.

To the end of the visit BGFC Manager Supasin Leeralit proposed a regular dialog between Bangkok Glass FC and Cerezo Osaka. He stated that the Japanese "football market", in future, is very interesting for the "Glass Rabbits".

Although BGFC's youth boss Hans Emser was impressed, there was not much new for the for the German: "I knew that the Japanese are very well positioned in youth football and are in knowledge exchange with Germany on a regular base. Therefore, the setup of the academy is nothing new for me. But surely, compared with us in Thailand, they are years ahead. Since years there are youth competitions in place in each of the respective ages."

With firm results the deputation returned to Thailand. In August 2012 the U-15 teams of Cerezo Osaka and Vissel Kobe are going to play joint freindlies against the U-15 of Bangkok Glass and Chonburi FC. The games are to take place rotational in Chonburi (presumably at the IPE) and the LEO stadium.

with the friendly assistance of Hans Emser and Bangkok Glass FC
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