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A “Subarashi” Training Experience For Our Footballers

Overseas Football Training Trip to Kofu, Japan

Written by:
Harith Danish Irwan
Football Academy, Secondary 3

Four footballers namely, Fernandez Casey Klein, Loo Kai Sheng, Shafrel Ariel Shahrul Nizam and I were honoured to be chosen for an overseas training trip to Kofu, Japan from 9 to 23 June 2023. We were accompanied by Coach Miur Rafik Taha for this trip.

“The aim of the trip was to develop the potential of selected players and provide them with opportunities to gain experience, knowledge, and exposure. They trained and played with Ventforet Kofu FC Youth Team whose current first team is in the J2 League,” said Coach Miur.

We were introduced to our teammates from Ventforet Kofu FC Under-14 and Under-15 teams. Over the course of two weeks, we trained with them and had the opportunity to face opponents from Japan Aviation High School and Toccano FC U15 from Tokyo. During training, we worked on set pieces and tactical plans. The night before each game, I made sure that I drank plenty of water and slept early. We had our morning limbering session with Coach Miur on matchday itself and a short pep talk to ensure that we were prepared psychologically for the games.

Both matches were challenging as the games' pace and intensity were much faster compared to what we were used to in Singapore. Our opponents were more physical and possessed good technical abilities. The most challenging game was the second game against Tocanno FC U15. I felt that the game pace was even faster than the first, which forced me to be quicker in my actions and decision-making.

Rounding up our Japan training trip, we had the opportunity to watch a J2 League game between Ventforet Kofu FC and Renofa Yamaguchi FC at JIT Recycle Ink Stadium. It was a totally different atmosphere in the stadium and the quality of football played at the J2 League was amazing. It was really a good moment for all of us to soak in.

During our last training session with the team, our Japanese teammates gave us sweet goodbyes and hugs! We are sincerely touched by the warm gestures from the whole team and coaches, and it made us feel absolutely welcomed during our short visit.

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