Blackburn Rovers are venturing from East Lancashire to East Asia in a bid to identify promising young players from across the globe.
Rovers have signed an exciting new partnership with the British Football Academy, based in Singapore, which will open the door to a new pool of players overseas.
The partnership will provide the club’s Academy with the opportunity to stage coaching camps and tournaments in the country, with a view to recruiting the most talented youngsters and helping to raise Rovers’ profile on the world stage.
It will also ensure a two-way approach, with Rovers’ Academy working with the British Football Academy in developing a philosophy that is shared by both parties in developing players that match the Rovers DNA.
The link-up was established through Rovers’ close relationship with Moorland School and Blackburn Rovers Community Trust, who were introduced to the British Football Academy and their first-class facilities at Dulwich College.
After an initial visit to Singapore, Rovers’ Head of Academy Stuart Jones was immediately impressed by the setup and is excited by the potential of the partnership.
“There’s a big expat community – a lot of British kids whose parents work over there and dual nationalities – and there’s certainly some talented young players over there,” he said.
“We see the partnership as a potential recruitment strategy, in terms of identifying talent, who are UK nationals and who could potentially come into the Academy.
“We can go over there and put coaching camps on and support the British Football Academy, as well as events and tournaments in Singapore, thus raising the profile of the football club and the Academy worldwide.
“We will share the resources we have in our programme, our sessions, our coaching philosophy and how we work. It’s a case of giving them some ideas and them sharing their experiences with us.
“Ultimately, it’s about growing the brand of the football club in another part of the world, with an organisation like the British Football Academy, who have a fantastic youth system for developing players.
“There’s also some commercial opportunities for the football club, so it’s a really exciting partnership and one we can evolve and develop together over time.
“We’re really excited to be able to get over to that side of the world and put Blackburn Rovers on the map. There seems to be an element of support for the club over there anyway, so hopefully this only enhances that and raises the profile.”