The Yokohama-based Japan & Germany Football Academy (JGFA) has been named as VfL Wolfsburg’s official talent development partner. Although establishing a knowledge transfer partnership in these challenging times is far from easy, the collaboration between the JGFA and VfL is set to begin in April. A digital launch ceremony involving Pierre Littbarski at the beginning of the month will be followed by further online events.
VfL football school and academy involved digitally and locally
The exchange of expertise will begin in earnest with an introduction by the VfL football school as well as an explanation into the Green-and-Whites’ modern approach to youth football. The partnership will be strengthened further in the following months through webinars on a number of VfL-related topics. Naturally, VfL coaches will pay regular visits to Japan as soon as possible.
Fumiaki Nishimatsu, CEO and president of JGFA: „The reason why JGFA attaches great importance to Germany's training method is related to Germany's review of the player training method for the youth academy generation in conjunction with the Bundesliga after the defeat of the group league by the national team at the 2000 European Championship. After multiple meetings with VfL Wolfsburg, the club's strategy and talent development policy are in line with our intentions, and with the cooperation with VfL Wolfsburg, we would like to train children from JGFA to fly around the world.“
Littbarski is also set to play a major role in the partnership. “I have a special relationship with Japan,” he said. “I had a wonderful time there, not least because I met my current wife there. It makes me even happier that the partnership between VfL and the JGFA has come to pass, and that I’ll soon be able to visit our new partners in person.”
First steps in Japanese market
VfL have already struck successful, similar partnerships in other countries, including China and Mexico. The Green-and-Whites are now eager to take their first steps in the Japanese market, and in a country with a reputation for producing talented footballers.