'Here for good' may be a Standard Chartered brand promise but today it was the turn of Liverpool FC to live up to that pledge and put something back into a country that is home to thousands of fanatical Reds supporters.
Having flown into Korea on Monday afternoon, Ian Rush and eight coaches from the club's Academy and Community divisions today teamed up with the Korean K-League to deliver a seminar on youth football development, closely followed by a question and answer session concentrating on best practices at Academy level.
The interactive seminar in Seoul, attended by over 100 coaches and players from across Korea, formed the first event of a three-day football clinic in the city that will see over 200 children receive specialised Liverpool FC training.
With Standard Chartered recently becoming the official sponsor of the K-League's youth development programme, the seminar provided the perfect opportunity for the bank to bring the club and the league together for the first time in an effort to impart much of the learning about player development that has been amassed by LFC since it first opened its Academy in 1998.
"We feel very privileged that Liverpool Football Club are sharing their knowledge about youth development with the K-League and the coaches here today," Chung Mong-gyu, Chairman of the K-League, said. "The Liverpool Academy is famous all over the world and the amount of great players that the Club has produced over the years is very impressive. A seminar like today will help our league to further enhance our youth player development programmers and bring them up to the international standard of clubs like Liverpool. Although the K-League is the oldest professional league in Asia, we are still young compared to Liverpool FC and it's that experience that we can learn from."
Well, one person who has got not just the youth coaching expertise that the K-League are looking to learn from but also experience of the ups and downs of life in a modern day football academy is LFC's Head Coach on the Korea trip, Ben Parsonage. Having joined the Reds at the age of 13, Parsonage worked his way up through the ranks and won two FA Youth Cups before being released by the Club. Despite not making it as a professional, Parsonage attained his coaching badges and is now employed by Liverpool to coach the 'Liverpool way' all over the world.
"Today is all about explaining exactly how we at Liverpool Football Club try and develop young footballers," he told Liverpoolfc.tv, "and the importance of doing things the 'Liverpool way'. People always ask us to explain what the 'Liverpool way' is and, as I explained in my presentation to the Korean coaches, it's all about doing things the right way. There's a right way to play, there's a right way to win, there's a right way to lose and there's a right way to behave. It's not enough to just be technically excellent, you also have to live your life a certain way.
"All top, top clubs probably do the big things in a similar way but it's the little things that set us apart as a club. Even on this trip, the coaches behave in a certain way when they are around members of the public - opening doors, saying hello with a smile and being courteous, polite and genuinely interested in what other people have to say. Ian Rush summed it up perfectly earlier today when he told an audience from the local media that we're a very humble, very professional, very down to earth football club with a passion for winning. The 'Liverpool way' is about doing the business on the pitch and not bragging about it afterwards.
"Lots of football players and even certain clubs have quite a bad reputation and whether that's because of how much money they earn or how they behave in nightclubs or bars, at Liverpool we try and develop young players in such a way that they're unlikely to end up like that.
"A lot of my presentation today was actually about the role of education within a football academy because all clubs have a duty to ensure that players are well prepared in case they don't end up making it or even for a life after football. I think that element of youth development was something the Korean coaches were really interested in as they asked about it a lot in the question and answer session. They were also very interested in how we plan out daily sessions for different age groups and how best to introduce different football concepts to the youngest children. Hopefully today will have answered some of those questions and I'm sure the Academy manual that we handed out to all the coaches will come into good use.
"More than anything though, I hope we got across the message that football is supposed to be fun and the more the kids enjoy training, the better they'll all become. We're certainly be looking to see some smiling faces when the actual clinics start on Wednesday."