|Taisuke Akiyoshi (blue) heads to Bulgaria|
"Despite the resentment of their presence as a foreigner-based club, it's hard to deny the contribution made by Albirex Niigata (Singapore) since they joined the league in 2004.
If the league authority been talking about the crucial role of having these foreigner-based squads in the S.League, no one can hardly disagree the White Swans are the benchmark of that of well functioning CLUB.
Whilst their on-field performance only started to pick up since last year (with their first ever honour - the League Cup), the well-oiled mechanism to operate the club off the field is for all to see and emulate.
With that on top of those alumni, bedside those promoted to senior squad back in Japan (like Bruno Castanheira) or headed to Europe like Akiyoshi, have we not seen them as the critical supply source for quality players (i.e: Kenji Arai, Norikazu Murakami, Shimpei Sakurada, etc.) in our league in recent years?"
Managed to gather some feedback on this thought following the posting in yesterday morning.
Said "Yaz Banz", one member of the blog's Facebook group:"The team (Albirex) is already an established outfit in J-League in many ways, to send their feeder squad here is what we should embrace and ideally learn from." having read what I posted the blog wall.
Perhaps it is the willingness to venture overseas (out of this region) in these Japanese players after their S.League stint that set them apart from the local lads in view of a White Swans supporter.
"It's up to the individual player if he wants to take up the opportunity to leave home to venture overseas to prove they are better than those local players in a foreign land or not." said the fan of the Japanese club who requested anonymity when spoken to.
"So far, our local lads could only secure short training stints in European clubs, not even a loan deal.
"Although I am not sure if the lack of ambition to leave the comfort zone is one of those reasons that deterred Singaporean players from venture aboard." he added.
Lack of ambition is being perceived as one such reason for the lack of breakthrough, although one can never deny the nagging issues of the national service and the "paper chase" are being the main bogging factors for the local players.
While we continue to look in envious glare as foreign players leapfrog to a greener pasture after here, we really hope some Singapore players out there are brave enough, like their Japanese peers, to drop everything and head out for a venture.
Where to?? Didn't I blogged more than six years ago that Australia is one such option?