Football: Lion City Sailors sign three-year youth development deal with Feyenoord

Feyenoord Head of Methodology, Koen Stam (left) and Luka Lalic, Academy Director, Lion City Sailors Football Academy. PHOTO: LION CITY SAILORS

SINGAPORE - Talented academy players of Lion City Sailors can look forward to training stints with Dutch giants Feyenoord after the Singapore Premier League champions on Tuesday (Feb 15) announced a three-year partnership with the Rotterdam-based club.

The tie-up will focus on youth development and education, and see coaching and professional exchanges between both teams. The Sailors will also support Feyenoord's brand exposure in Singapore.

Feyenoord have won 15 Eredivisie titles and their youth set-up has won the Rinus Michels award for best academy in the Netherlands five times since 2009. Notable graduates include former Manchester United and Arsenal striker Robin van Persie and ex-Liverpool midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum.

Gido Vader, Feyenoord's manager of international relations, said the club hopes to "contribute to the development of football in Singapore and the region" through the collaboration. He added: "Besides allowing us access to a very interesting commercial market, this partnership also enables us to track the most talented players in the region."

Selected players from the Sailors' youth sides will go on two-week long attachments at Feyenoord. Their Under-14 team had spent two weeks in Rotterdam during a training stint in Europe last November.

Sailors chief executive Chew Chun-Liang said the partnership underscored their drive towards excellence and becoming "one of Asia's top clubs and an elite hub of youth development".

The Sailors signed a similar agreement with eight-time German champions Borussia Dortmund in July last year.

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