New kids on the block

A Japanese boy stretching with a ball during a clinic arranged by J2 football club Matsumoto Yamaga with the Matsumoto City Kiri Kindergarten. Some 120 children from the kindergarten spent two hours with four Singaporeans and coaches from Yamaga, kic
ST PHOTO: SHAMIR OSMAN

A Japanese boy stretching with a ball during a clinic arranged by J2 football club Matsumoto Yamaga with the Matsumoto City Kiri Kindergarten. Some 120 children from the kindergarten spent two hours with four Singaporeans and coaches from Yamaga, kicking about in a park near their school. The four footballers from Geylang International's ranks and the Epson Youth Challenge are in Japan for a training stint with Yamaga. And the quartet dressed in purple - Danish Haziq, Ilhan Noor, Irfan Ariff and Izzan Nabil - started their first full day in the town some 200km west of Tokyo with the club's laughter-filled kids' clinic. The Singaporeans will have to kick intensity levels up a couple of notches when they start training with Yamaga's championship-winning Under-18 B team, coached by former Singapore international Noor Ali.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 15, 2018, with the headline 'New kids on the block'. Print Edition | Subscribe