Last year, five lucky budding young Malaysian footballers had a chance to train at Cerezo Osaka and five more new players will get the same chance in 2019. Cerezo in partnership with Television Osaka and Yakult launched the Asean Dream Project for the second season in search of the next big talent from Southeast Asia.
Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam were the three locations in 2018 and Myanmar replaces Vietnam as the new location for the 2019 project. Each country are given five slots where selected players are sent for a training cum visit to Cerezo Osaka that will also include taking in a J-League match at Yanmar Stadium between Cerezo and Sagan Tosun.
Having played the club for 17 years before being installed as the club president in December 2018, Hiroaki Morishima sees Asean as an important region for the club to concentrate on and hope to find talented players with the use of this project.
“This project started last year and now we are in the second year of doing it. We at Cerezo Osaka always put a lot of importance in youths and by doing this, we hope to help realise the dreams of young players in this region.
“We are back in Malaysia for the second year because we are still looking for good potential talents who want to achieve their dreams. Having said that, in the future we will also be looking to do this project in more Asean countries,” said Morishima during the press conference.
Morishima who was part of the first Japan team that went to the World Cup back in 1998 in France was present in Kuala Lumpur to launch the project on Tuesday and the former midfielder is confident that it will be sooner rather than later that Asean countries will make their presence felt in the world of football.
With that in mind, the project is a continuation of the efforts from Cerezo to be one of the platforms where new talents are unearthed. Selection will be held at USIM Sports Complex in Nilai in June and the five selected players will be sent to Osaka in the beginning of August for their training stint.
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