Valencia eager to tie up JDT connection

Spanish club Valencia are looking to secure a partnership with Malaysian giants Johor Darul Ta’zim as soon as possible... 

La Liga side Valencia are keen on fostering a relationship with reigning Malaysia Super League (MSL) and AFC Cup champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT).

This is especially so with regards to the Southern Tigers’ academy.

Valencia president Chan Lay Hoon, who was part of the club’s visit to Padang Seri Gelam training centre in Johor Bahru, also felt JDT could be the perfect place to build a Valencia fan base frrom, in Malaysia.

“We are discussing with the management and His Royal Highness (Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim) about helping in the youth development and exploring other kind of activities we can do together,” said Chan.

Valencia hope to tie up an agreement with JDT soon

“Both clubs have the same objectives and hopefully we can realise it (a partnership) as soon as possible. We’ll likely help bring our Spanish coaches to the academy … there are many ways, we can train their coaches too.

“Those here are very lucky to have such facilities. I haven’t seen one like this in Singapore … and in Europe, many facilities are not as modern because they were built many years ago,” said Chan in reference to JDT’s indoor field at the centre.

There are talks of more activities when Valencia visit Singapore for a friendly next summer as the club could capitalise on their trip to Southeast Asia.

Such activities will be similar to the Valencia-JDT joint training session held on Thursday.

Five Valencia players – captain Paco Alcacer, Mathew Ryan, Javi Fuego, Santi Mina and Jaume Domenech – were part of the training session.

JDT training with Valencia players

JDT already have an understanding with German giants Borussia Dortmund and another partnership with a European side is expected to widen the club’s reach.

Valencia’s commercial and marketing director Peter Draper explained that the potential collaboration with JDT in youth development is unlikely to see the establishment of a joint-academy, although the club are ready to provide JDT with the support needed.

“We have a simple attitude towards developing academies. We might be able to help and support them in many ways, but it’s their academy ultimately,” said Draper.

“It’s an open dialog at the moment. We are going to have some coaches in Singapore and this is just across the road basically. Like this trip, we were in Singapore and we came across to bring a potential relationship to life.”