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#AIA #GlobalFootballDevelopment

Global coaching discovery Nathan earns professional contract at Persija Jakarta

Tue 15 June 2021, 15:35|Tottenham Hotspur

Nathan Fariel Kusama’s footballing journey has taken another huge step forward.

You may remember that Nathan, 15, earned an Academy contract with Persija Jakarta - one of the biggest teams in Indonesia - after taking part in our Asia Player Development Programme, delivered in partnership with AIA.

He has now been offered a new long-term deal that will see him turn professional when he turns 17 in 2022.

Anton Blackwood, Senior International Football Development Manager, Tottenham Hotspur, said: “We are so proud of Nathan’s progress and despite a challenging year with a pandemic, he has still demonstrated dedication and resilience to not give in, to do extra training and earn himself a new contract. We will continue to support Nathan’s journey and we’re sure this is a milestone that will bring more success.”

Nathan was discovered by our Global Football Development team at the AIA Junior Cup in Jakarta in 2017. As one of the 12 best players in that tournament, he was selected for the first ever AIA-Tottenham Hotspur Elite Training Camp held in Thailand later that year.

In May 2019, he visited the UK, trained at one of our Player Development Centres, attended our last match of 2018/19 against Everton at the new stadium and met Heung-Min Son.

Discussions began with Persija in February 2020 and he was invited to train at the club’s Academy in September last year. Impressed with his attitude and performance, Persija offered Nathan an Academy contract. Now he’s taken the next step...

Adrian New, Director of Football Initiatives at AIA, said: “AIA are very proud of the work we have done with Spurs to help children across Asia to play football better and to lead healthier lives. I believe that one of the main reasons that our football camps are so popular is that we promise to help children to maximise their football potential and to provide a pathway for those who show the necessary talent and dedication. Nathan has been the first to follow this pathway all the way to the professional level and I’m confident there will be others following in his footsteps once the AIA-Spurs football camps resume post-Covid.”

The AIA-Tottenham Hotspur Player Development Programme was launched in 2017 as a way of helping people across Asia lead healthier, longer, better lives.

Our Global Football Development coaches have travelled across Asia working in 14 different countries to deliver world-class technical programmes, educational talks, workshops and exercise classes for participants of all ages.

The programme has seen over 65,000 people trained and has provided individuals with memorable and life enhancing experiences.

Learn more about our Global Football Development Programmes.