Thailand national coach watches V. League game in Hanoi

By Hieu Luong   February 10, 2023 | 12:24 am PT
Thailand national coach watches V. League game in Hanoi
Mano Polking (L, 2nd row) watches the V. League game between Hanoi FC and Cong An Hanoi on February 9, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong
Mano Polking, head of Thailand's national team, came to Hanoi to watch the anticipated V. League game between Hanoi FC and Cong An Hanoi on Thursday night.

Polking came with his assistant coach Luis Vargas. His presence at Hang Day Stadium surprised many people.

The 46-year-old coach said he took a few days off to visit Vietnam and celebrate the birthday of his best friend Paulo Alexandre, who's currently the physical coach for Cong An Hanoi. In addition to watching the capital derby, he also visited Cong An Hanoi's headquarters at the PVF Youth Football Training Center in Hung Yen Province that borders Hanoi.

Before the game, Polking said he didn't know much about Cong An Hanoi's playing style, though he remembered the players that he used to coach at HCMC FC from 2020-2021, such as goalkeeper Bui Tien Dung and defender Sam Ngoc Duc. He rated Hanoi FC higher because they have many quality players who have played together for a long time.

"I like a player like Nguyen Van Quyet," Polking said. "Coach Bozidar Bandovic is also great. We have faced each other in Thai League 1 before. I think Hanoi has the edge."

Polking was right. Hanoi FC went on to defeat Cong An Hanoi 2-0 thanks to Van Quyet’s double, climbing to second on the table.

After the short trip to Vietnam, Polking will return to Thailand and observe games in Thai League 1 to find new players for the national team. His next assignment is preparing Thailand for the 2023 East Asian Championship, where they will be the special guest. The tournament will take place from March 20 to April 2.

Polking will stay with the Thai national team until the 2023 Asian Cup, which will be hosted in Qatar. He received a lot of credit for helping Thailand win the AFF Cup for the second consecutive time last month, beating Vietnam 3-2 after two legs of the final.

go to top