Match-fixer Quyen finds redemption in youth coaching
After success with U11 and U15 Song Lam Nghe An (SLNA), former national team striker Pham Van Quyen helped coach the U17 team to win the National U17 Football Championship after beating Nutifood Institute 3-2 in the final on Sunday.
Former national striker Pham Van Quyen seen at the National U17 Football Championship on Sunday. — Photo tinnongmoingay.com
This is the third time Quyến has won a title after moving into coaching after a glittering but controversial playing career.
Quyến began training young talents after receiving his coach's degree and was appointed assistant coach of the SLNA U11 team in 2018. He and his close friend, coach Phan Như Thuật, led the side to a national championship.
A year later, Quyến continued to play the supporting role for Thuật in the SLNA U15 team and secured another title when SLNA beat Thanh Hóa in the national final.
This year, Quyến stepped up to the U17 level, while Thuật was added to the coaching staff of the SLNA senior team. Replacing Thuật was coach Lê Kỳ Phương, an experienced youth coach.
According to Quyến, working with Phương is a great opportunity for him to learn the coaching trade.
The combination of Phương and the former star Quyến could help SLNA develop a thriving youth pipeline.
After the final of the U17 tournament, Quyến pointed out the differences between playing and coaching.
He said that when he was still playing football, there were times when he could not follow the coach's instructions for many reasons and now as a coach, he can understand why his young charges don't always listen to him.
"It can be said that coaching is much more difficult than being a player," said Quyến.
When asked about his future plans, the 36-year-old said that the immediate goal is to learn.
"I think I have to try to learn little by little to look forward to the future," said Quyến.
"Being selected for the coaching board of the SLNA to help the teams win U11, U15 and U17 championship was lucky for me. For the players, they will be more successful if they try hard. My good fortune is to be an assistant to motivate players to play successfully,” said Quyến.
Phạm Van Quyen (right) with the title of SLNA U17 team at the National U17 Football Championship on Sunday. — Photo doisongvietnam.vn
Quyến achieved success early on in his playing career thanks to his natural talent. At the age of 16, he brought the national U16 team to the AFC U16 Football Championship’s semi-finals in 2000.
Coming out of the AFC U16 event as the best player in the tournament, Quyến made constant progress. Just two years later, he was selected to the senior national team by coach Henrique Calisto.
In 2003, Quyến and his teammates were the runners-up in the SEA Games 22 held in Việt Nam but he left a great impression, including a superb goal scored against Thailand in the final. That year, Quyến also won the Việt Nam Golden Ball award.
In 2004, Quyết was the hero as Việt Nam shocked South Korea 1-0 at the 2004 Asian Cup qualifying round.
Having risen to fame rapidly, Quyến fell victim to temptation and was convicted of match-fixing a game against Myanmar in the group stage of SEA Games 23 in 2005. He received a two-year suspended prison sentence and was suspended for four years from all competitions by the Việt Nam Football Federation.
After the expiration of the suspension, Quyến played for SLNA and Ninh Bình, and despite some highlights, his career petered out. At the end of 2014, Quyến officially retired.
Although he took part in match-fixing, Quyến is still considered one of the best players in Vietnamese football history.
After he stopped playing, he left the spotlight and only attended amateur football events in Vinh City, Nghệ An Province. However, Quyến was still a star in the eyes of fans.
Leaders of SLNA understood this, so they quickly asked Quyến to join the coaching staff of the youth team. With his name attached, SLNA’s appeal increased significantly as fans expect Quyến's skills to be passed on to the young players.
“I am trying to do it again, challenging myself so I have nothing to say. I hope I will live with my profession,” said Quyến.
“We hope that Quyến will have a good position and long-term enthusiasm for the profession. It must be said that his charm is still great, contributing to the development of SLNA youth training at present. If he works hard and makes an effort, he can do something for Vietnamese football,” said coach Đinh Văn Dũng of the SLNA U21 team. — VNS