Third-tier English soccer club Tranmere Rovers, which currently plays in League One, is set to be in Jakarta on Feb. 7 to 9 in search of young soccer talents, no more than 15 years of age, to be trained at the side’s soccer academy in Merseyside, England.
The three-day visit will also include a seminar and coaching clinics for Indonesian coaches and players.
The club, in cooperation with Santini Group, one of Indonesia’s leading conglomerates that also happens to be the club’s investor, will also hold a mini-tournament at the Aldiron complex in West Jakarta.
“We are providing [a direct opportunity] for soccer talents to train in England, the birthplace of soccer. This has been our motivation from the beginning,” Santini Group director Wandi Wanandi said as reported by kompas.com on Wednesday.
Tranmere Rovers has one of the top soccer academies in England, namely the Tranmere Rovers International Academy, which is also home to Liverpool’s women’s soccer team. The academy, Wandi went on, offered state-of-the-art facilities and courses that allow its students to learn strategies from experienced coaches and FIFA-accredited mentors.
“The club has developed an excellent academic system and […] a nutrient center, which teaches students to pay attention to what they eat as athletes,” Wandi said.
Club owner Mark Palios acknowledged that the partnership between the club and Santini is pivotal to both the club and young local players. He said that through the program, many young players would be exposed to world-class soccer professionalism and later share these skills with their peers.
“We are helping each other out here. From our side, the mission is to bring England soccer, especially the third-tier tournaments, closer to the Indonesian people,” he said.
The club previously cooperated with East Java’s Surabaya administration in 2018 under the Liverpool-Surabaya sister city agreement. The cooperation had a similar goal, which was to provide a better playing experience for talented young players. A group of young soccer players from Surabaya was sent to England to train with the club and improve their skills on the pitch.
Last year, during a special interview with The Jakarta Post, Palios mentioned that experiences from joining world-class tournaments would form a player with better skills and instincts. So, during their time in the academy, these young players would not only learning about strategies, proper diets and nutrients, but they would also get ample playing experience, he added.