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Nguyen Van Quyet crowned most valuable player of V.League 1-2020



Hanoi FC skipper Nguyen Van Quyet was named the most valuable player (MVP) of V.League 1-2020 during the V.League Awards 2020 in Hanoi on November 20.

Nguyen Van Quyet crowned most valuable player of V.League 1-2020

Hanoi FC’s midfielder Nguyen Van Quyet is named the best player of V.League 1-2020.

The programme was attended by Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Ngoc Thien, President of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) Le Khanh Hai, and head coach of the Vietnamese national team Park Hang-seo.

2020 became a very memorable season for Vietnamese football when it suffered heavily from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. But in the end, the season wrapped up successfully, even witnessing a nail-biting and thrilling title race up to the last matchday in the National Cup, First Division and V.League 1 tournaments.

Beating many heavyweight candidates, incluidng Ho Chi Minh City striker Nguyen Cong Phuong – the top domestic scorer (six goals), Hanoi FC’s captain Nguyen Van Quyet claimed the MVP award for his significant contributions to the capital team’s playstyle, along with a five-goal tally.

The “Best Young Player” category saw the triumph of Hanoi FC’s centre back Bui Hoang Viet Anh (21 years old). In the context that Dinh Trong and Duy Manh suffered from injuries while Van Hau played overseas, Viet Anh became the pillar of Hanoi’s back line. The Thai Binh-born player grew very quickly and has even been entrusted by coach Park Hang-seo with the armband of the Vietnam U22 team.

Viettel FC manager Truong Viet Hoang (C) receives the “Best Manager” award.

For the first time, Viettel FC manager Truong Viet Hoang was named the best manager of V.League 1-2020. Hoang had a fairytale season with Viettel FC leading the club to the overall trophy in his debut season.

The organising board also selected the best XI of V.League 1-2020 (3-5-2), which consisted of manager Truong Viet Hoang; goalkeeper Nguyen Manh; defenders Tan Tai, Van Trien and Santos; midfielders Trong Hoang, Van Quyet, Quang Hai, Hai Long and Ngoc Duc; and forwards Pedro and Cong Phuong. Nhan Dan



Vietnam’s oldest rock band introduces new lead vocalist



Rocker Pham Anh Khoa has been announced as the newest member of the famous Vietnamese rock band Bức Tường (The Wall), becoming the lead vocalist of the country’s oldest rock band.

Vietnam’s oldest rock band introduces new lead vocalist
Rocker Pham Anh Khoa performs together with The Wall frontman Tran Tuan Hung on Friday night. Photos courtesy of The Wall

The announcement was given by the band’s frontman, songwriter/guitarist Tran Tuan Hung, on Friday night, when the 25-year-old band had a concert to launch their fifth album Con Đường Không Tên (Nameless Road).

According to him, after the death of frontman and lead vocalist Tran Lap in 2016 due to cancer, the band faced days of confusion, disorientation, and seeming collapse.

“But we decided to keep going because that is also the last wish of our late buddy, who we saw as our brother. We were lucky to receive so much support and help from our friends and our dedicated fans, who were willing to help in our difficult time, Hung said.  

“Our new album is to continue the road that all The Wall has been walking on,” he said.

Talking with the media, the 35-year-old rocker Khoa, who rose to fame when he competed in Morning Star – Rendezvous 2006, was reserved. He said the role of lead vocalist requires him to try his best.

“I never ever imagined that I could become a member of The Wall someday,” he added.   

The Cam Ranh-born singer recalled his bond with late rocker Tran Lap, which started when he contacted Lap for his approval to perform his song Ra Khơi (Offshore) in the finale of the Morning Star – Rendezvous contest.  

To prepare for his debut with The Wall, Khoa has worked with the band since last year.  

“I know that everyone got used to listening to Tran Lap, however, I am not him. I’m sorry if I bother anyone who loves him. I also love him so much, and I believe that I will be able to convey the spirit of The Wall,” he said.

Vietnam’s oldest rock band introduces new lead vocalist
Frontman Tran Tuan Hung (2nd left) seen on stage to perform with some former members of The Wall, including founding member Nguyen Hoang (2nd right), guitarist Nhat Hoang (right), and drummer Nghiem Manh Tuan (left). 

The first part of the Friday night concert featured the performance of frontman Hung with some former members, including the founding member, guitarist Nguyen Hoang. 

For his debut, Khoa performed the songs featured in the album Nameless Road. Among 10 songs in the album, seven were written by Hung, while the remaining three were created by another new member, songwriter Vu Van Ha.  

Alongside 1,000 physical CDs, the albums are also available on digital platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music.  

Earlier, to reveal their upcoming album, in October, the band introduced the single Tháng Mười (October), which was warmly welcomed by fans.

At the end of March, the band released a new music video entitled XXV to celebrate their 25th anniversary. XXV was composed by guitarist Hung with inspiration from a poem presented to the band by Dam Tien Dung.

The song integrates more than 20 hits by The Wall, showcasing the band and their late leader Tran Lap.

The band is scheduled to tour several cities across the country the next two months.

Established on March 26, 1995, from the students’ musical movement of the National University of Civil Engineering, The Wall first consisted of three members – Tran Lap, Tran Tuan Hung and Nguyen Hoang.

Many songs by the band became hits, particularly among Vietnamese students, like Đường Đến Ngày Vinh Quang (Road to Glory Day), Tâm Hồn Của Đá (Soul of Stone) and Bông Hồng Thủy Tinh (Glass Rose). VNS


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Athletes to compete at Hà Nội Open Table Tennis



Athletes compete at last year Hà Nội Open Table Tennis tournament. Photo

HÀ NỘI — The annual Hà Nội Open Table Tennis tournament promises competitive matches in its eighth edition on December 3-6.

The event, known as the Hà Nội Mới Newspaper Cup, will feature more than 300 athletes, many more than the previous year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the organisers.

“The deadly pandemic has forced many tournaments to be postponed and cancelled through the year. Currently, the situation seems to be well controlled, so we decided to choose this time for the event,” said Nguyễn Hoàng Long, editor-in-chief of the newspaper and head of the organisers.

“As it is one of the rare tournaments held this year, the cup receives attention and registration from athletes from 62 teams nationwide,” he said.

Athletes will compete in 11 categories based on ages and genders in professional and amateur disciplines.

“This year we will see the participation of famed players such as Phan Huy Hoàng, winner of the 2020 National Table Tennis Team Championship’s men’s singles, Nguyễn Văn Ngọc, gold medalist of the 2020 National Table Tennis Team Championship’s men’s team, Mai Thanh Thúy and Vũ Thị Thúy, winning duo of the 2020 National Table Tennis Clubs Championship,” said Long.

The tournament is free for supporters at Trịnh Hoài Đức Gymnasium but people are asked to follow instructions to avoid COVID-19 transmission.

Organisers will also carry out sterilisation of the facilities each day after matches.


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Alexandra Huynh lives out Serie A dream with Napoli




Alexandra Huynh on the ball for S.S.D. Napoli Femminile. Photo from Alexandra Huynh’s Instagram page

Peter Cowan

HÀ NỘI – It’s the dream of many Vietnamese football fans to watch stars like Nguyễn Quang Hải strut their stuff against the best in Europe, but few know that one woman of Vietnamese heritage is already living out that dream.

Vietnamese Australian footballer Alexandra Huynh recently signed for S.S.D. Napoli Femminile in Italy to compete week in and week out against the best Serie A has to offer and harbours dreams of one day playing for the Vietnamese women’s national team.

Huynh arrived in Italy in early October after ending an eight-year spell with the Western Sydney Wanderers, who play in Australia’s top women’s league. Prior to that, Huynh turned out for the Newcastle Jets in Australia as a teenager before playing for Colorado and Troy universities in the US.

While the newly-promoted Napoli are rooted to the bottom of the Serie A table and struggling against better-funded men’s team-affiliated clubs like AC Milan and Juventus, Huynh is enjoying the challenge of playing in the football-mad city that recently mourned the passing of the beloved Diego Maradona.

“Yeah, honestly, on the field. I love it. Like I love how physical it is,” she told Việt Nam News.

“There’s not as much like build-up play in Italy as there is in Australia. But in saying that there’s a lot of like, raw talent here. And there are so many people, so many girls play football, and in Italy, that’s just part of the culture, it’s part of their blood,” she added.

Football brought Huynh to Việt Nam for her only visit in 2011 when she lined up for the Young Matildas Australian women’s U19 team in the AFC U19 Women’s Championship in HCM City, which also served as a qualifying tournament for the 2012 U20 World Cup.

“I think that it was very eye-opening because I’ve obviously never been to Việt Nam before. It was really humbling. It was a really good experience, and I do really want to go back.

“But when you’re 17 I don’t think you really understand the impact of what that trip meant, you know what I mean? So at the time, I was just there to play football, I think I wasn’t really too focused on anything else.

“But looking back, it made me want to learn Vietnamese, you know, maybe want to kind of learn a little bit more about my history,” she said of the trip.

While Huynh hasn’t made the step up to the senior Australia team, she’s excited at the prospect of potentially playing for the up-and-coming Vietnamese team.

“I think it’s very exciting where Vietnamese female footballers are at the moment, I think that they’re at that stage where they really take the next step and ready to be more competitive in the Asian leagues.

“So I think, especially with the World Cup coming in 2023, and an extra Asian team qualifies, it’s a super exciting opportunity.”

The citizenship procedures for a person of Vietnamese heritage to become eligible for the team are daunting, as Czech Vietnamese goalkeeper Filip Nguyen has discovered, and while Huynh recognises that, she’s enthralled by the possibilities of representing Việt Nam.

“I honestly just get goosebumps,” she said when asked what playing for Việt Nam would mean to her.

“I just think that it would make me feel content in a sense. Like, it’s like exploring a part of me that hadn’t really explored before,” she added.

Having been around the top levels of the women’s game in three countries, Huynh knows a thing or two about what Việt Nam need to do to go to the next level and qualify for their first World Cup.

“I think just the biggest thing that separates great programmes from good programmes is just investment. And it comes down to, doesn’t matter what level it’s at, whether it be grassroots or national team, it all just comes down to investment.

“So it’s like how much money are you willing to invest in that team? What resources are you willing to invest, what facilities you’re willing to invest?” she said. VNS


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