Nepali youth star on way to Japanese Academy

Nepali youth "sensation", Nirajan Malla, is heading to Saitama, Japan, to attend a three-week training program in the junior academy of J-League side Urawa Red Diamonds, the Kathmanud Post reports.

The 14-year old footballer was picked up for the special training at the club after Japanese Football Association’s agent Fujita was impressed by Nirajan’s skills during his visit to Kathmandu in May. Nirajan will join players from other countries in the special training program beginning from 18 July.

“I am very glad to get an opportunity to showcase my talents in Japan - an Asian powerhouse,” Nijaran said at a farewell program organized at All Nepal Football Association Complex, Satdobato.

Nirajan had scored 18 goals in Friends’ Club colors in the last year’s Junior League. The striker from Chitwan also netted nine goals in the recently concluded AFC U-13 Festival of Football in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka.

“Nirajan’s international program is as per the policy of ANFA to offer maximum exposure for players to build a strong national squad,” ANFA president Ganesh Thapa said. “The negotiations with German giant Bayern Munich are going on to send some of our talent to Europe,” he further added.

The president of Asian Football Confederation, Mohammad Bin Hammam, vowed to send Nepali young players to Bayern Munich’s Academy during his visit to Nepal in May.