Urawa Red Diamonds is one of the most successful clubs in the Japanese J-League and Asian football in general. In 2017 the club, which is known for its fanatical fanbase, bagged its second AFC Champions League trophy. Last year Urawa Reds won the Emperors Cup. The special relationship between Urawa Red Diamonds and Feyenoord dates back to 2001, when Shinji Ono transferred to Feyenoord. To tighten the bond and cooperation Urawa Reds made several official visits to Feyenoord in the past 12 months. In September 2018 the clubs jointly organized a friendly match between their respective eSporters in Tokyo. The cooperation will now be taken to the pitch.
Feyenoord representatives Stanley Brard and Gido Vader traveled to Japan this week to sign and present the agreement together with Urawa Red Diamonds president Mr Yoichi Tachibana. After the ceremony, Mr Tachibana expressed his content with the partnership. ‘We are delighted to have a strategic partnership with Feyenoord, one of the European clubs that has a high reputation in the field of youth development. For the mutual development of our clubs, we would like to carry out this agreement hand in hand. There are various approaches, such as an exchange of the academy players and coaches.’
While in Saitama Brard also presented the Feyenoord vision on talent development to the Urawa Academy staff and observed several training sessions. Brard has extensive experience in Japan and is happy with the renewed acquaintance. ‘There is an abundance of football talent in Japan and it is a fantastic country to work in. But I do think that as a Dutch club we can offer an important added value to the talent development here, because of our way of thinking.’
‘We have been in talks with Urawa Red Diamonds for quite some time’, adds Gido Vader. ‘That means that the club sees this partnership as very important and potentially a shift in club policy as Urawa have the desire to make more use of its young talents. We are happy to contribute to this process whereas for Feyenoord it is both an honor and an opportunity to be partnered with Urawa Reds, one of the higher profile clubs in Japan and indeed in all of Asia. Over the coming months we will discuss further steps in our cooperation.’