The third and final module of the AFC Pro-Diploma Course 2014, Japan gained further momentum with Course Coordinator, National Coach Wim Koevermans and the 12 Participants Course visiting one of the Premier Professional Football Clubs of Japan, Cerezo Osaka FC and visiting its State of the Art facilities.

Cerezo Osaka’s Head Coach Ranko Popovic with Mr. Wim Koevermans
and all Participants of the ongoing Pro-Licence Coach in Japan
Right from the quality of the football pitches, the number of training grounds, equipments, organisation, indoor facilities, gymnasium, conference rooms and other units, the Club exemplifies State of the Art Footballing Infrastructure required for Elite level Football.

Koevermans said the visit gave the Participants the chance to have a first-hand feel of the facilities in a “top Footballing Nation.”

“The aim is to take it to the highest level possible and this visit abroad gives the Participants a chance to see how Football, and the organisational structure in a top Football ranked Country should be,” he told

The Participants also had a Meeting with Cerezo’s Head Coach, Ranko Popovic and its Chairman Mr. Masao Okano. “It’s mainly about how Football Clubs are organised and the role a Coach plays in it.” Koevermans continued.

“The experience has been great and visiting Cerezo Osaka FC has been an eye opener for everybody. The philosophy of the Club is very clear with their total commitment. They are also very proud of the Players they developed,” he added. The Club, has over the Years, produced some of the beat talents from Japan who have made a mark in World Football. Takshi Inui (Eintracht Frankfurt), Hiroshi Kiyotake (FC Nurnberg), Kim Bo-Kyung (Cardiff City), Shinji Kagawa (Manchester United) have all been cadets of the Club.

Participants of the Pro-Licence with local University Players ahead of a Practical session
Furthermore, in January, 2014 Cerezo signed Diego Forlan of Uruguay who became one of their top foreign recruits along with Serbia’s Gojko Kacar. The Course had earlier got underway from May 6, 2014 with a series of theoretical and practical sessions at the J-Green football Centre, Sakai with the Participants conducting various practical sessions with Players from local Universities and Academies.

Thangboi Singto, Head Coach of Shillong Lajong FC, also one of the Participants for the Course said, the “professionalism in Japan is just unbelievable.” “Back Home, we often speak about professionalism. Japan serves as the perfect example for it — be in Management, Coaching, Infrastructure or the approach to the game. It is an education for all to understand how the Japanese are competing with the Best of the World,” he told

Santosh Kashyap complemented Singto. “Seeing is believing! It’s a lesson to watch the manner things are implemented. The commitment, the work ethics and the dedication is something we have to learn,” he opined.

“For a Coach, it is important to implement them as much as possible. The approach to Youth Development and the path of the graduation of the Youth Players into the Senior Team also has an amazing ratio. They have every right to feel proud about it.”

The Participants also got the opportunity to watch the AFC Champions League match between Cerezo Osaka FC and Guangzhou Evergrande FC held at the Yanmar Nagai Stadium, the Home Stadium of Cerezo. Cerezo also happens to be one of the very few Clubs in the World to have 2 Stadia, the other being Kincho Stadium.