Pro-Licence course gains momentum in Japan

PTI| Updated: May 13, 2014, 15:18 PM IST

New Delhi: The third and final module of the AFC Pro-Diploma course 2014, Japan gained further momentum with course coordinator, national coach Wim Koevermans and the 12 participants visiting one of the premier professional football clubs of Japan, Cerezo Osaka FC and visiting its state-of-the-art facilities.

Right from the quality of the football pitches, the number of training grounds, equipments, organisation, indoor facilities, gymnasium, conference rooms and other units, the club exemplifies state-of-the-art footballing infrastructure required for elite level football.

Koevermans said the visit gave the participants chance to have a first-hand feel of the facilities in a "top Footballing nation".

"The aim is to take it to the highest level possible and this visit abroad gives the participants a chance to see how football, and the organisational structure in a top football ranked country should be," he told AIFF.

The participants also had a meeting with Cerezo`s head coach, Ranko Popovic and its chairman Masao Okano.

"It`s mainly about how football clubs are organised and the role a coach plays in it," Koevermans continued.

"The experience has been great and visiting Cerezo Osaka FC has been an eye opener for everybody. The philosophy of the club is very clear with their total commitment. They are also very proud of the players they developed," he added.

The club has over the years produced some of the beat talents from Japan who have made a mark in world football.

Takshi Inui (Eintracht Frankfurt), Hiroshi Kiyotake (FC Nurnberg), Kim Bo-Kyung (Cardiff City), Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United) have all been cadets of the club.

Furthermore, in January 2014, Cerezo signed Diego Forlan of Uruguay who became one of their top foreign recruits along with Serbia`s Gojko Kacar.

The course had earlier got underway from May 6, 2014 with a series of theoretical and practical sessions at the J-Green football centre, Sakai with the participants conducting various practical sessions with players from local universities and academies.

Thangboi Singto, head coach of Shillong Lajong FC and also one of the participants, said, "the professionalism in Japan is just unbelievable".