The start of the week marked the end of an eventful time for a delegation from the Japanese partner club V-Varen Nagasaki: The travelling players, coaches and staff from the second division club experienced German culture and Leverkusen football tradition that not only gave them a comprehensive insight into a Bundesliga club but also enabled them to gain experiences far beyond football.
The V-Varen youth players not only trained with the Werkself junior squads but also joined them in playing in friendlies. “The first ten minutes were really hard. I think we all needed a moment or two to get used to the high intensity,” said Aoto Nanamure after the joint friendly on the pitch. “But it was really cool to see how much energy all the players showed.”
Before their departure, the Japanese travel group were again able to experience the home game atmosphere at the BayArena with the Bundesliga clash against current champions Bayern Munich. In response to the question of the highlight of the visit to Bayer 04, Nanamure had a categorical response ready: “The BayArena and the matchdays we were able to experience. The atmosphere is simply impressive!”
The Japanese guests came at the right time: The Werkself players had three home games during the visit – and Bayer 04 ran out winners in every game. There were wins against Hertha Berlin (4-1), Ferencvaros (2-0) in the Europa League and Bayern Munich (2-1).
The visitors from the south-west of Japan will not easily forget all of the impressions gathered during their time in the Rhineland. The talented youngsters will remember one thing in particular. Nanamure finished off by saying: “Something we’ve all remembered is the players shaking hands at the end of the game. That’s completely different from back home but is definitely something that we will remember.”
About The partnership
V-Varen Nagasaki has been a partner club of Bayer 04 in youth development since the 2017/18 season. Since then there has been an intensive exchange between the clubs on both a sporting and a cultural level. A delegation of twelve, made up of youth players Aoto Nanamure, Homare Ikeda, Kelshin Mlyazaki, Yuya Iwamoto, Kaihi Nishimura, Hinata Miyazaki plus the coaches and staff members Ikebe Tomokazu, Harada Takeo, Yusuke Maeda, Tokunaga Takahiro and Matsushita Toshihiro, visited Leverkusen from 1 to 20 March.