Tuesday, July 23

APF’s Japanese goalkeeper Yuya Kuriyama is the first foreign player to play for a departmental team

Subash Humagain

Kathmandu – Armed Police Force (APF) Football Club have signed Japanese goalkeeper Yuya Kuriyama for the ongoing Qatar Airways Martyrs Memorial A Division League. Kuriyama has become the first foreign player to play for a departmental team of Nepal.

This is the first time that APF have signed a foreign footballer after acquiring AFC Club license. APF had introduced Kuriyama as its first-choice goalkeeper during their fifth round match against Friends Club on Monday. In his debut, the departmental team registered their first win in the ongoing league beating Friends Club 3-1.

Kuriyama’s performance against Friends Club was average. His skills were tested when Friends Club were awarded a penalty in the second half. Prizen Tamang scored easily from the spot. Earlier, Kuriyama had foiled Tamang’s attempt to score from the penalty box in the 17th minute.

Speaking at a post-match press conference, APF coach Kumar Thapa said that the club decided to sign the Japanese player after their regular goalkeeper got injured.

“We signed him up because we didn’t have a goalkeeper. Amrit needs to undergo a surgery. Raju is also not cent percent fit. So we didn’t want to take risk in goalkeeping,” said Thapa.

Thapa clarified that it was their compulsion to sign the new player.

“He was in Nepal. We learnt that he had contacted some other clubs. Since other clubs didn’t have extra quota for goalkeeper, he was only training. We were in need of a goalkeeper so we signed an agreement with him,” said Thapa, adding, “We would have had to face financial burden if we had brought him from abroad.”

Coach Thapa said that the club is moving towards professionalism after acquiring club license from AFC. “We have started the process of signing foreign players. We are looking for such players who are currently in Nepal,” added Thapa.

The newly-signed goalkeeper Kuriyama had been training with Chyasal Youth Club prior to joining APF.

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