Sailors partner Dortmund to develop talented youngsters

Lion City Sailors chief executive officer Chew Chun-Liang and Suresh Letchmanan, managing director of BVB Asia Pacific, commemorating the signing of the partnership of the two clubs. PHOTO: LION CITY SAILORS
Lion City Sailors chief executive officer Chew Chun-Liang and Suresh Letchmanan, managing director of BVB Asia Pacific, commemorating the signing of the partnership of the two clubs. PHOTO: LION CITY SAILORS

Singapore's first privatised football club, Lion City Sailors, have lofty ambitions to transform the local scene.

Yesterday, they took another stride by announcing a partnership with German Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund (BVB).

The Singapore Premier League side's 21/2-year tie-up with the German Cup winners will see a series of youth development programmes, coaching, educational and professional exchanges as well as training camps in Germany.

The partnership will also harness the growing commitment to build a strong infrastructure for youth football in Singapore and support growth in the areas of sports science, sports medicine, analytics and talent scouting.

A key component of the partnership will see an annual training camp in Dortmund for the LCS Football Academy's elite team, with an additional training stint pencilled in for selected footballers from the academy's scholarship programme.

Dortmund attackers Marco Reus and Giovanni Reyna, and Premier League club Chelsea's forward Christian Pulisic, are some of the brightest players who have come through the ranks at the German side's academy.

Suresh Letchmanan, managing director of BVB Asia Pacific, the club's Singapore-based regional headquarters, called it an "exciting partnership" and a "milestone" for both sides.

"Both clubs are dynamic and progressive brands with a commitment to developing talented youth players and these common beliefs make the two organisations ideally suited," he said.

The latest partnership is another show of intent from the Sailors, who want to turn their LCS Football Academy into an elite youth development hub.

Last year, the Sailors committed $1 million to revamp their academy, which was later given a one-star rating by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the first in Singapore to achieve the feat.

A $10-million training facility that will be home to both the SPL club and their academy is also set to be completed next April.

Their chief executive officer, Chew Chun-Liang, said: "We are an ambitious club with a vision of becoming one of the best in Asia.

"To get there, we must learn from the best, and in BVB we have found a partner that is among the best in the world."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 18, 2021, with the headline 'Sailors partner Dortmund to develop talented youngsters'. Subscribe