Davao Aguilas, Japan FC strike partnership
Philippines Football League club Davao Aguilas has forged a partnership with Japanese top-flight club Shonan Bellmare that will open up opportunities for both organizations to develop talent and exchange knowledge through coaching and training camps.
Davao Aguilas owner and businessman Jefferson Cheng said the partnership will not just benefit his club, but the rest of the players in the PFL as it could pave the way for Filipino players to suit up in the J1 League, the first division in Japan.
“It is exciting times for us having a big club like Shonan Bellmare from the J-League which is considered one of the best leagues in Asia, as a partner for the Aguilas,” said Cheng.
The partnership has paved the way for the only professional football club from Mindanao to be renamed Davao Aguilas Bellmare FC.
“I hope there will be an exchange of knowledge with coaches and players,” Cheng said. “I’m also hoping that it gives opportunities to other players not just from the Davao Aguilas who can possibly showcase their talent in Japan.”
Part of the partnership could see the Aguilas undergoing training camps in Bellmare’s facilities in Japan. Davao finished third in the league behind Ceres-Negros and Kaya Iloilo this season, but the Aguilas remain in contention in the Copa Paulino Alcantara, the winner of which will clinch a place in the AFC Cup next season.
Cheng said the J1 League club can also send their team to the Philippines for friendly matches with other PFL clubs.
“This could actually benefit everyone in Philippine football because there is just too many things that need to be done so we need to help each other out,” he added.
Cheng also unveiled the club’s plans to construct a sports facility that will include a 20,000-seater stadium in Davao City to be called “The Nest.”
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