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Culture and Sports Minister encourages VN U23s ahead of continental campaign

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Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Nguyen Ngoc Thien, visited the training ground of the Vietnam U23 team to encourage the squad members ahead of their important 2020 AFC U23 Championship qualification.

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Minister Nguyen Ngoc Thien (far right) encouraged the national U23 squad at the training ground in Hanoi on March 8. (Photo: Vietnam Football Federation) 


At the meeting, Minister Thien praised the outstanding achievements of Vietnamese youth football in international arenas in recent times. He also encouraged the players, emphasising that the ministry and relevant agencies would focus all resources to support the whole team to get the best preparation for the upcoming goals, with the next aim of booking a ticket to the 2020 AFC U23 Championship and later conquering the gold medal in men's soccer at the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia this November.

Previously, head coach Park Hang-seo officially announced that he would hand over the captain's armband to Hanoi FC midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai, besides the two vice-captains Nguyen Hoang Duc (Viettel) and Tran Thanh Son (Hoang Anh Gia Lai).

Although it is the first time that the U23 captaincy is taken over by Quang Hai, the 1997 born star had been trusted by coach Hoang Anh Tuan by being given the same task at the national U20 team competing at the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup in the Republic of Korea.

Talking to the media, Quang Hai said: “Being honoured with the captain's armband, I will try my best to urge my teammates to practice to get the best preparation for the forthcoming matches. This time there are many new players who gather with the team for the first time. During each training session, we will talk more to find a common relationship and get better coordination when we enter the matches. As a long-term player under coach Park, I will share with my new teammates what I have learned from the coaching staff, so that everyone can understand and soon adapt to Park’s training.”

It is more than a month before Quang Hai officially turns 22, but the Hanoi FC star is now one of the seasoned players who has played the most competitive matches of Vietnamese football, as playing without stopping in the V.League as well as at continental tournaments in the Hanoi FC shirt and national team levels.

“When young players gather with the national teams, one of the most important factors is to get used to the working style of the coaching staff, besides focusing on each training session to fully understand the philosophy of the coaching style,” Quang Hai shared.

Regarding the challenge at the upcoming U23 qualifiers, Hai said: “There will be no easy matches. For each rivals, the players must prepare well for themselves as well as perform well under the direction of the coaching board."

Vietnam will host Group K at the 2020 AFC U23 Championship qualification, with their first match against Brunei on March 22, before two further games, against Indonesia on March 24 and Thailand two days later. The final tournament will be held in Thailand from January 8 to 26 next year.



Source: Nhan Dan

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