As the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games approach, the Vietnam national U22 football team are hard to work preparing for their tilt at the gold medal.
The team gathered in the Hanoi-based Youth Sports Training Centre on October 29 to train.
In the first days of training, the team will practice on artificial turf whichthe tournament will be played on at the Games in the Philippines.
According to head coach Park Hang-seo , the competition schedule for Vietnameseteam is very hard as Vietnam are in Group B alongside regional heavyweightThailand. Other teams are Indonesia, Laos, Singapore and Brunei.
“The hosts Philippines are lucky to be in Group A with only five teams. So theyhave only to play four matches in the qualifying rounds. Meanwhile, Vietnam arein Group B with strong rivals and six teams.
“In the group stage, Vietnam will have to play every two days. Playing one morematch compared to Group A in a big burden for Vietnam. In an event withcompetition across many days, playing one more game compared to other teams isalso a big difficulty,” said Park.
At the SEA Games, each men’s team is only allowed to register 20 players, withtwo players over 22 years old.
“Among 20 players, there are two goalies and 18 outfield players so I willconsider players in the senior team to add to the U22 team,” said the coach.
Midfielder Tran Dinh Trong of Hanoi FC, who is in the process of recovering frominjury, is among the 27 footballers preparing for the Games.
“At present, Trong has recovered well. However, his doctor will decide whetherhe can compete in the Philippines or not,” he said.
The U22 team will train in Hanoi and Hung Yen province until November 18 andthen move to HCM City. They will leave for the Games on November 22.
On November 17, Vietnam will have a friendly match with Myanmar at the PVFCentre in Hung Yen.
The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) will send its assistants to thePhilippines to help the team.
“Vietnam U22 team will go to the Philippines with 37 members including 20footballers, training board, doctors and staff. It is the first time aVietnamese football team competing in an international event will have such alarge support staff,” said Doan Anh Tuan, manager of national teams at the VFF.
The men’s football tournament will feature 11 sides taking part. The teams havebeen divided into two groups and will compete in a round-robin format with thetop two teams from each group progressing to the semi-finals.
The games will be played on artificial surfaces at three host stadiums, RizalMemorial Stadium, University of Makati Staidum, and Binan Football Stadium.
The group stages will start on November 25, before the two teams play in thesemi-finals on December 7. The final is scheduled for December 10./. VNA
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