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BISP Cruzeiro standout ready to take the next step

BISP Cruzeiro standout ready to take the next step

FOOTBALL: Energised after a summer of travel and high-level football, it's safe to say that BISP Cruzeiro Youth Academy standout Siam Yapp is almost ready for the next step.


By Jean-Pierre Mestanza

Saturday 19 October 2019, 11:25AM


It's been a whirlwind year for the 15-year-old, having played across Asia and Europe with not just the BISP Cruzeiro team, but a special call-up from the Thailand national team.

 

“I think Siam is playing with great potential. He's one that we are putting a lot in terms of becoming a pro player in the future. He's got the attributes, he's got everything to become a pro,” said BISP Cruzeiro Youth Academy Head Coach Jonathas Candido.

 

Yapp's impressive play at the Nike Premier Cup in Bangkok back in May for the BISP Cruzeiro team was enough to earn a call from national team scouts who extended an offer to the young left-winger.

 

Scouts invited 40 of the best under-15 players from across the Kingdom for a try-out camp in Chiang Mai. After two weeks, only 23 players were left, including Yapp. This was the Thailand U-15 side that would play in the 2019 AFF U-15 Championship in Chonburi.

 

“The day after, we went straight to the competition. It was all pretty fast,” he said. “It was a big shock, it was all a new experience for me. In terms of football, everyone there is amazing.”

 

Teams from across Asia participated in the tournament, with stadiums seeing 1,000 fans for group stage matches to 5,000 fans for the final. Because of his size, coaches shifted Yapp to play as a lone striker. The tactical strategy helped propel Thailand to the final with Malaysia, which they lost 2-1.

 

“[National team coaches] said in terms of the future, they want to keep working with me because they feel like I can grow and understand their style of play better,” said Yapp.

 

The invitation to play for Thailand capped an exciting summer for the prodigy, which included a title-winning run with his BISP Cruzeiro U19 squad and training stints with professional clubs in Portugal.

 

“I've had a busy year,” he said.

 

The opportunity to train for several days at the Sporting Clube de Portugal (Sporting CP) Youth Academy in Lisbon in April, renowned for producing Ballon d'Or recipients Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Figo, is an honour until itself. Yapp credits the time spent at the club, playing alongside players on the cusp of the professional ranks, as invaluable experience that has helped him grow in the game.

 

Yapp followed that up with an impressive showing for the BISP Cruzeiro U19 team – the youngest player invited by coach Candido and Eder Diniz (Yapp was 14 at the time) – at the IBERCUP U19 tournament in Estoril, Portugal in early July. Yapp helped propel the team to a silver medal finish.

 

Behind every great player are great coaches, and BISP Cruzeiro's stable of high-level instructors have prepared Yapp well for the future.

 

“It's nice to see Siam play very well, we could easily see that he could play with those guys, and he could be even better than most of those guys,” said assistant coach Eder.

 

The fact that Yapp's profile is rising among scouts domestically and abroad puts a smile on coach Candido's face, especially since Yapp has a full four years in the BISP Cruzeiro program. The academy's first truly home-grown player, whose development is a testament to the program's success.

 

“We've had more time to work towards [Yapp's] weaknesses. I'm proud of him moving on, because he's a player that we got in a certain level and have helped put him in a very good position right now. This achievement would not have been possible without help from BISP as well,” said Candido.

 

Yapp is half British, half Thai, and has a European passport. Coach Candido said this is a big help in terms of him potentially going pro sooner than later, as European nationals can sign with professional clubs at 16-years-old, if they choose to do so.

 

For now, however, Yapp is focused on improving and finishing his studies at British International School, Phuket.

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