This year, a number of Japanese coaches have visited Stuttgart and got a closer look at the coaching philosophy at the VfB youth academy in Bad Cannstatt before taking their experiences back with them to Tokyo. In return, Tim Kirk – head of training for the U13-U11 age group at VfB – has travelled over to the Far East, becoming the first coach from the youth academy to make the trip.
Tim’s timetable included further training for coaches and training sessions with young players, and it was obviously a delight for him to see a number of talented Japanese youth footballers decked out in VfB kit on the training ground and at the Nihon University Tsurugaoka Senior High School. His trip was rounded off with a visit to the J-League match between FC Tokyo and Kawasaki Frontale.
“Japan is a very important target market for our internationalisation strategy and a logical country for partnerships for both intercultural and economic reasons,” said Rouven Kasper, member of the executive board and chief marketing and sales officer for VfB. “It’s great that after initial virtual meetings, we can now get to see one another in the flesh to build on our intercultural and sporting exchanges. Over the coming years, we will be expanding and strengthening the contacts that we had already made via the academy.”
“We were all really excited by Tim Kirk’s visit,” said Jun Hirano, founder of VfB cooperation partner Funroots. “The feedback we got from over 60 kids and parents about the various training sessions was universally excellent, across all age groups. All of our coaches learned an enormous amount from his coaching courses. We’re all delighted that we started off this successful project digitally during the COVID-19 pandemic and that a high-quality coach like Tim from the youth academy has now paid us a visit.”