Park's boots big one for new Vietnam coach to fill: S. Korean media

By Trung Thu   May 8, 2024 | 07:51 pm PT
Park's boots big one for new Vietnam coach to fill: S. Korean media
Kim Sang-sik (L) and Park Hang-seo are two South Korean coaches that lead Vietnam national football team. Photos by VnExpress
The South Korean media expects Kim Sang-sik to face a lot of pressure as coach of the Vietnamese football team due to the success compatriot Park Hang-seo had achieved.

So far Kim has only managed South Korean club Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors after seven years as an assistant there.

Newspaper Sports Chosun said the new job would be a challenge for the 47-year-old.

"The success of coach Park Hang-seo in Vietnam is still a big challenge for any coach."

It said that, after the failure under Philippe Troussier, Vietnamese fans are very keen to know what style Kim would bring and whether he could manage the players like Park.

It also warned that expectations from Vietnamese fans are very high, just like at Jeonbuk, the most titled club in South Korea.

Kim had to resign partly because of the pressure from Jeonbuk fans.

2017-2023 is considered the most successful period ever for Vietnamese football.

Under Park, the U23 and national teams reached the 2018 U23 Asian Cup final, won the 2018 AFF Cup, reached the 2018 Asian Games semifinals, claimed the 2019 and 2021 SEA Games gold medals and entered the third round of the World Cup qualifiers for the first time in 2022.

After Park did not renew the contract in early 2023, VFF signed a long-term contract with Troussier.

But three defeats at the Asian Cup and two losses to Indonesia in the second round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers saw the French coach get the sack in March.

The VFF zeroed in on Kim after over a month of searching.

VFF has said its main criteria for a coach were cultural compatibility, tolerance of criticism and acceptance of differences.

At his introduction on Tuesday Kim answered questions related to Park. He said he knew Park was considered a hero in Vietnam, would always respect that and hoped to follow the same path of success as his senior.

"It’s a long and difficult road. I feel pressured about how to keep up with these achievements. If I can communicate well with the players and help them understand my philosophy, I may move closer to the path that Park took."

When Kim was still a player for the South Korean national team, he had worked with Park from 2000 to 2002. Currently, both are represented by the same management company. After Kim got the job, Park sent flowers to congratulate him and offered encouragement and some advice.

"He asked me to build a good team," Kim said. "Park is called ‘father’ by the players and I will do my best to be called ‘brother’ by them."

Kim is the fifth South Korean coach to lead a national team in Southeast Asia, after Park, Indonesia’s Shin Tae-yong, Malaysia’s Kim Pan-gon and Timor Leste’s Park Soon-tae.

News1 said except for Timor Leste’s Park the other three have already proved their value through their achievements.

"Coaching Vietnam is a challenge but also ambitious for Kim Sang-sik.

"He wants to make the best comeback."

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