HÀ NỘI — Coach Đinh Thế Nam will strengthen his squad with rising stars ahead of the AFF U19 Championship next month.
The new additions include midfielder Khuất Văn Khang and striker Nguyễn Văn Trường who just completed their task with the U23 side at the AFC Championship in Uzbekistan.
Both players, the youngest members of the U23 team, won the trust of head coach Gong Oh-kyun who fielded them in all four matches in the Tashkent competition.
Nam will have his best line-up available for the regional event on July 2-15.
The draw put four of ASEAN’s strongest youth teams — Việt Nam, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines — in the same pot, along with Myanmar and Brunei, making Group A a group of death.
Thailand have won here five times with the last in 2017. Indonesia were champions in 2013. Việt Nam’s only win was in 2007 while the Philippines have not ever been to the knockout stage.
However, Việt Nam and the Philippines have proved their potential in youth football in recent years after much long-term and investment.
In Group B, the favourites Malaysia, the winners in 2018, will compete with Laos, Timor Leste, Cambodia and Singapore.
Khang and Trường will be back in Việt Nam on Wednesday and join Nam’s camp at the Việt Nam Football Federation’s Youth Training Centre in Hà Nội.
The squad has been practising for a week and will play friendly matches prior to their departure to Jakarta.
Along with the duo is the ‘king of youth competitions’ Nguyễn Quốc Việt who has been the best scorer in every local tournament he has taken part in for the last three years.
“We are in the same group as powerful Thailand and Indonesia. Thailand are good in terms of technique and ball possession while the latter are known for their physical playing style,” said Việt.
“I hope that through the tournament we will collect a lot of experience for our future.”
Coach Nam believes that motivating his charges will be key.
“We have less than a month to prepare for this tournament. So, the coaching panel will have to motivate the players well as this will be vital. We are also planning for the friendly matches,” Nam said.
Nam added that the coaching panel would also be analysing and researching the playing style, strengths and weaknesses of their opponents in the coming weeks to formulate the right tactics.
Viettel FC aim for a top three finish in the upcoming V.League 1
HÀ NỘI — As the highly anticipated V.League 1 season is set to kick off this weekend, Viettel FC are preparing to hit the field with determination and a clear target in mind – finishing in the top three of the league.
“In the 2023 season, Viettel will have many new policies to improve the team. We aim to reach the top three at the league, competing for the championship and reaching the final of the National Cup,” chairman of Viettel FC Tào Đức Thắng said as the team gathered on Tuesday.
“This year, Viettel FC will continue to focus on youth training. Viettel set a target that the percentage of players trained by their training centre will account for at least 85 per cent of the squad,” Thắng added.
Viettel finished fourth in the league last season, but they marked their success by contributing to the Vietnamese national team.
They contributed eight players to the senior team, accounting for 31 per cent of the team. The contribution rate of youth players to the U17, U19, and U21 teams is 43 per cent with 27 players.
Nguyễn Hoàng Đức, Nguyễn Thanh Bình, Nhâm Mạnh Dũng and Phan Tuấn Tài all featured prominently on the team that won 31st SEA Games gold. They also received certificates of merit from the Prime Minister.
The team also officially announced the signing of a contract with striker Jefferson Elias from Brazil, born in 1998. Elias is a prominent player from the youth training academy Atletico Minero of Brazil.
He also played for Democrata and Patrocinense. Last year, he scored 11 goals in 18 matches for URT.
Viettel will face defending champions Hà Nội FC this Sunday in the opening match of the national premiere league.
“The most anticipated game of the season is also the opening match that makes us extremely excited. The challenges are not small when we meet the defending champions, but we will make our greatest efforts to get the best result for the match,” captain Bùi Tiến Dũng said. VNS
Coach Park Hang-seo to hold event thanking fans for their support
HÀ NỘI — Before his contract with the Việt Nam Football Federation (VFF) expires, coach Park Hang-seo will hold a meeting with fans to thank them before he bids farewell to Việt Nam and returns to South Korea.
Coach Park’s contract with VFF expires on January 31, ending five successful years with many impressive achievements.
Park’s agency (DJ Management & Inspired Asian Management) made the announcement on its homepage.
“During the five years of dedication to Vietnamese football, coach Park received unending love and support from the fans. DJ Management and Park have put together a fan meeting event to express Park’s appreciation for the fans who have always accompanied him in his time in Việt Nam.”
The event will be held at Athena Room 2, Hà Nội Grand Plaza Hotel, from 6pm to 8.30pm on February 2.
The 30 luckiest fans will receive souvenirs, including Park’s badge, a Park autographed ball and many other attractive gifts.
The South Korean coach has gained legendary status in the country after leading a golden generation of talent that excelled both at regional and continental levels.
When he took over the Vietnamese national team in 2017, at the AFC U23 Championship in China, coach Park made a big splash when his team overcame many opponents to finish second.
A year later, Park’s team triumphed at the AFF Cup 2018. Then, Việt Nam reached the quarter-finals of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 in the United Arab Emirates, where they ultimately lost 1-0 to Japan.
Park’s team also made their first appearance in the third Asian qualifying round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Although they were ultimately unsuccessful, they put in some noteworthy performances, including beating China 3-1 and drawing 1-1 with Japan. — VNS
‘This is just the beginning’: Bandovic hails Hà Nội’s Super Cup success
HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội defeated Hải Phòng 2-0 in the 2022 National Super Cup at Hàng Đẫy Stadium on Sunday, but coach Bozidar Bandovic acknowledged there is still a lot of work to do to get his squad to where he wants them to be.
“I am very happy that Hà Nội won the National Super Cup. I don’t want to talk about any individual players because we all fought and won,” Bandovic said after the match.
“The Hà Nội players have personality and quality and we only worked together for five days before the match. I know that we can do better, of course, with respect for our opponent. I believe our players. Within five days of training together, they showed their level and ability on the pitch.”
Goals from Lucas Vinicius Gonçalves Silva and Trần Văn Kiên helped Hà Nội take the title. This is Hà Nội’s fifth Super Cup ever and also Hà Nội’s third title of the 2022 season, along with the V.League 1 and National Cup.
Although Bandovic has only worked with Hà Nội for about a month, he is already continuing the capital side’s success.
The Montenegrin said that this is just the beginning, though many difficulties lie ahead.
“We can’t change many things in a short time, but I’m happy to have won the national championship. I’m not satisfied with the player’s fitness because I understand that we can do better,” coach Bandovic said.
“The level of Hà Nội players is still not equal. I want to improve the young players to help them become the future of Hà Nội and Vietnamese football. The national players have had almost no breaks, and a group of players can’t play at 100 per cent of their strength.
“I plan to use the break after the first four rounds of the V.League 1 to improve the team. We need to be better and have to be better. I want to congratulate the players of the team, but this is just the beginning, how it ends is important.
“We can change a few things but it takes time. The players’ fitness hasn’t improved, but we play more calmly, control the ball and score goals. Creating chances but not scoring won’t be as important as playing without creating chances. We have to play better and play in more stable positions,” Bandovic added.
Meanwhile, coach Chu Đình Nghiêm said that the cause of Hải Phòng’s defeat was the strong change of players in the team.
“Hà Nội won because they played better. I also observed them in the friendly event. The new coach Bandovic has changed the style of Hà Nội’s play,” Nghiêm said.
“We will look for foreign players to replace Emmanuel Okotu. After the 2022 season, Hải Phòng changed up to 70 per cent of personnel, and they were all important people. We are still looking for players, but it is very difficult.” VNS
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