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New Hanoi FC coach impressed by HAGL

Newly-appointed Hanoi FC coach Park Choong-kyun has offered high praise to rivals Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) and their tactics.

Coach Park Choong-kyun (middle) seen in a training session with Hanoi FC. Photo Hanoi FC

The South Korean coach spoke to the media after a training session to prepare for his first match in charge of the team against Binh Dinh today in the V.League 1.

Park revealed that he didn’t hesitate when he was approached by Hanoi FC who are known as an ambitious club.

After a week of getting acquainted with the new team, Park said he had identified the weaknesses that Hanoi need to overcome.

“I took on the mission from the middle of the football season. Through the recent matches, I have analysed the team’s weaknesses to repair. The play style of Hanoi and my football philosophy are very similar,’ said Park.

“I don’t have difficulties with the play style of the team. However, Hanoi need to improve their defence. The club has many shortcomings, but this is a tactical issue so I can’t disclose it,” Park added.

Park Choong-kyun revealed that he didn’t hesitate when he received the invitation from Hanoi FC. — Photo Hanoi FC

On the other teams in the league, Park said that he only had time to study league leaders HAGL and was impressed by coach Kiatisuk Senamuang's team.

"HAGL are a strong team with a specific strategy. The points gap between Hanoi and HAGL is huge but we have not given up on the championship goal. I can’t say anything yet and currently, we can focus on improving each match.

“Apart from HAGL, I haven't had have time to study other teams. When I came to Vietnam, I met coach Park Hang-seo and received his helpful advice. I will try to improve the team as soon as possible,” said Hanoi's Park.

On April 18, Hanoi lost by a goal to nil away HAGL, their first defeat to HAGL in four years. The result dropped Hanoi to eighth in the rankings, 12 points behind top team HAGL.

Hanoi are ready for the upcoming match with Binh Dinh today. — Photo Hanoi FC


Hanoi FC hired the South Korean coach Park on a two-year deal, making him the first foreign coach in the history of the capital team.

Park was born in 1973 and started his coaching career in 2009. He became famous as an assistant to Choi Kang-hee at Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors club in the K League 1. Choi is considered the most successful coach in the history of the K League 1 with six championships since 2009. From 2013-18, they won four titles.

At the end of 2018, Park was hired to coach Tianji Quanjian in the Chinese Super League. He helped the team quickly escape the relegation zone and Sport Seoul newspaper at that time praised Park and called it "Park Choong-kyun’s magic".

Tianji Quanjian later changed their name to Tianji Tianhai and were dissolved in mid-2020. Park was out of work from that time, before coming to Hanoi.

According to Park, the style of play he wants is to have more control of the ball than the opponent. He wants to dominate the game by controlling the ball in the opponent's part of the pitch.

I recent years, Hanoi have been the strongest team in the country. With quality players who have played together for many years, they overwhelm their opponents by controlling the ball, making them seem like a fit for Park's style. 

South Korean coaches' struggles in VN

Coach Park Hang-seo has been very successful with Vietnamese football, but at the national level. At the club level, the V.League 1 has not been a happy hunting ground for South Korean coaches.

Becamex Binh Duong fired two South Korean coaches in the middle of seasons, including Nam Dae-shik in 2004 and Cho Yoon-hwan in 2012. Choi Yoon-kyum coached HAGL for three seasons but the best he could do was finish third in 2013. Last season, HAGL also fired a South Korean coach, Lee Tae-hoon.

Coach Chung Hae-seong also struggled at HAGL in 2017-18. After arriving at HCM City FC, he took the team to second place in the V.League 1 in 2019. But only a year later, HCM City said farewell to Chung as the team only finished fifth in 2020, although the contract between the two sides had one year remaining.

For defending champions Viettel, they had coach Lee Heung-sil in the 2019 season, but after only 12 games, the South Korean coach left because of disagreements with the leadership.

The challenge for Park in the V.League 1 will be great, but Hanoi FC are confident they have the right man for the job.  


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