The DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga has entered into a broader collaboration with the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT), after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Thai authority responsible for setting the country’s sports policy.
The MoU focuses on the advancement of technical and sporting structures, as well as initiatives with key football stakeholders that will contribute to the overall sporting success in Thailand. In addition, the MoU also addresses competitiveness and playing quality of football in Thailand, as well as youth development of leagues and their respective clubs.
Furthermore, Thai Bundesliga broadcaster PPTV HD 36, in coordination with the DFL and SAT, has announced the launch of “Bundesliga Dream”, the latest internationally focused youth development programme that will give the best talent from across Thailand the opportunity to train and play in friendly matches with the academies of three Bundesliga clubs.
From May 12 – June 3, seventeen U-16 players will travel to Germany to take part in a three-week programme that includes stops at Eintracht Frankfurt, Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern München. Working under some of Germany’s best youth-team coaches, the players will take part in a tailor-made training schedule, with each club focusing on a different facet of the game. Following the initial programme, a minimum of two players will be selected to stay on for a further week, to continue training with one of the Bundesliga club’s U16 team.
The scouting process for “Bundesliga Dream” will take place at the end of March in Bangkok, where over 120 hopefuls from across Thailand will compete to make the final squad. A panel of coaches from Bundesliga clubs and the Thai FA will be onsite to make the final decisions, selecting a full squad to travel to Germany. The final team announcement will be made on 4 April.
Reality series and live broadcasting
PPTV, the Free-to-Air home of the Bundesliga in Thailand, will be on ground to capture every moment of this exciting tour – from the scouting process in Bangkok until the final day in Germany, and will produce twelve 30-minute episodes in the form of a reality series, as well as broadcasting the three matches between the Thai U16 team and the youth teams of Eintracht Frankfurt, FC Bayern München and Borussia Dortmund.
Bundesliga International Chief Marketing Officer Peer Naubert said: “Giving these young players a chance to play in some of the most renowned academies in the world is not only a great life-experience, but an opportunity to develop their skills as they look to progress in their career. Our goal is always to work alongside our partners and the local stakeholders to continue the growth of football. Thailand is hugely passionate for the sport and, after winning the latest AFF Cup earlier this year, we know there is great promise. We hope that the ‘Bundesliga Dream’, as well as our additional projects with the SAT, can support the country’s footballing ambitions.”
Pornchai Poonlamlert, Acting President of Bangkok Media & Broadcasting Co., Ltd. (PPTV HD 36) said: “We are thrilled to see this partnership taken to a next level as this youth development project gets brought to life in close collaboration with the Bundesliga and with SAT. We hope this opens new opportunities for the young Thai footballers to learn new skills, training methods and playing systems with one of the best football leagues in the world.”
Tanukiat Junchum, Deputy Governor for Professional Sports and Boxing, Sports Authority of Thailand said: “On behalf of the Sports Authority of Thailand, the national sports governing body under the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, we are delighted to be a part of this project alongside the Bundesliga and PPTV, together enabling young and talented Thai footballers to fulfill their dreams. This project firmly aligns with SAT’s mission and is an extension of our existing football youth development projects, such as the Thailand Youth League and Football Camp Excellent Centre. This is a great opportunity for Thailand’s young football talent to develop their skills and knowledge of the sport. We hope this will be a priceless experience for them and that they can implement what they’ll learn, into their professional football careers in the future.”
Bundesliga: home of Asian players in Europe
The Bundesliga is considered the home of Asian players in Europe, with more players from Asia playing in Germany’s top flight in the last 20 years than the other top four European leagues combined. As well as local heroes, such as Japan’s Daichi Kamada and South Korea’s Jae-sung Lee, the Bundesliga is active on the ground throughout Asia, working together with partners and governments to support the growth of football, with projects such as “Bundesliga Common Ground” and the “Youth Incubator Project.”