OVERSEAS Development Officer Gary Crooks returned from a trip to Japan with Rangers Soccer Schools this week and was delighted with the progress made.

The trip gave the club an opportunity to test the waters and assess the Japanese market and were based in Koriyama, prefecture of Fukushima, 120 miles of North of Tokyo and the trip coincided with the five year anniversary of the earthquake disaster there

Crooks and Mark Hateley conducted several meetings over the course of the week with football organisations looking to work with the club in future, including meeting the Mayor of Koriyama.

Two experienced Soccer Schools coaches travelled and they gave the kids an enjoyable experience in which parents were thrilled by the standard of coaching they received.

The CEO of Freecom, who partnered with the club for the trip, Roy Cameron and his team were the perfect hosts for the Soccer Schools, including a welcome dinner in Koriyama for which former player Peter Huistra was present. Member from the chambers of commerce, Sponsors, local businesses and football clubs also came to learn more about the club.

Speaking upon his return to Glasgow, Crooks said: “We found the city of Koriyama in Fukushima prefecture a beautiful place and we were made to feel welcome by the community. We look forward to future activities in the area for years to come and developing the relationship further with Freecom.

“The city has moved on greatly since the disaster five years ago and the pride of the people to show this was evident during our stay.”

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