South Korean coach sites differing visions in leaving Vietnam U23

By Lam Thoa   December 13, 2022 | 06:31 am PT
South Korean coach sites differing visions in leaving Vietnam U23
Coach Gong Oh-kyun on the sideline in the 2-2 draw between Vietnam and South Korea in the 2022 U23 Asian Cup. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa
Coach Gong Oh-kyun decided to part ways with the U23 team due to differing visions between himself and the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), a representative said.

"Coach Gong has directly participated in negotiations with VFF. But due to differences in targets and vision, both parties decided not to continue," the representative told VnExpress on Tuesday. "This is not about money, it's purely about expertise. In football, parting ways is normal."

Other sources said Gong's choice was also influenced by Vietnam national team coach Park Hang-seo's decision to leave after the 2022 AFF Cup next month. Both South Korean coaches are represented by the same company.

Gong is now receiving offers from other V. League clubs.

VFF and coach Gong had signed a one-year contract in March this year. Gong took over the team from coach Park after the 2021 SEA Games in May.

With Gong at the helm, the U23 squad peaked second in group C of this year's U23 Asian Cup by beating Malaysia and drawing against Thailand and South Korea. They were then knocked out of the tournament after losing 0-2 to Saudi Arabia in the quarterfinals.

Gong is credited with giving many young up-and-coming players – including defender Phan Tuan Tai and midfielder Khuat Van Khang – the chance to shine in international competition.

After the 2022 Asian Games – scheduled to be held in China – was postponed due to Covid-19, Gong returned to South Korea to complete an AFC Pro coaching course. When he returned to Vietnam, he regularly attended professional tournaments and national youth tournaments to select players for the U23 team and prepare for the 32nd SEA Games and the U23 Asian Cup qualifiers in 2023.

VFF may seek a coach who can lead both the national team and the U23 team after the departure of both Gong and coach Park, sources have said.

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