Vietnam coach worries about lack of young talent

By Dong Huyen   July 3, 2020 | 06:31 pm PT
Vietnam coach worries about lack of young talent
Coach Park Hang-seo observes the U22 team training in Hanoi on July 2, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Nam Anh.
Coach Park Hang-seo gave his take on the shortage of good players in the U22 team at a training session Thursday.

"When I came to Vietnam three years ago, there were many talented young players like Nguyen Cong Phuong, Luong Xuan Truong and Do Duy Manh. But right now, there are not many talents like that," Park said before dividing the U22 squad into two teams to play each other.

On Wednesday, he called up 28 U21 players who rarely get to play in the league with the purpose of giving them more field time and to evaluate each player ahead of SEA Games 31, to be hosted in Vietnam next year.

Park said youngsters haven't had much chance to prove themselves at V. League as clubs prefer foreigners and experienced players.

"I hope some changes could be made to create more opportunity for them to play. For instance, we can limit the number of foreign players in the league, so clubs use more young players.

"As you can see, the national teams still consist of regular and familiar faces, there are barely any new players," the coach said.

Recently, Park and his assistants often attend V. League 1 and 2 games to scout new faces for the national teams. However, there were currently very few players that meet their requirements.

"In the U22 or national team, my criteria depends mainly on skill. They have to play well in their designated position. Physical strength is also one of the criteria. When young players don’t have much field time like this, it’s quite difficult to find suitable ones," he said.

After seven fixtures (49 games) of 2020 V. League 1, only 25 U21 players were fielded, many only in the dying moments of the game.

The main target of the U22 team next year is none other than again winning the gold medal at SEA Games 31. With most of the main U22 players that won SEA Games 30 last year too old, insiders have said coach Park will need lots of time to reform and find new stars for his team.

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