Attentive: Head coach Falko Goetz (centre) gives instructions to Viet Nam's U23 players during the team's first training session at HCM City's Thanh Long Sports Centre. — VNS Photo Tien Thanh.
HCM CITY — Head coach Falko Goetz said that he could not promise top results at the Southeast Asia (SEA) Games when the U23 team gathers in HCM City's Thanh Long Sports Centre to prepare for the HCM City International Football Tournament.
"When I prepare a team, I prepare for winning games. This is what I try," said Goetz, who also coaches the national team.
"What I can promise is an active Vietnamese team that would fight for every win," he added.
"In a tournament, you need a lot of luck because of injury, bad referees or something else. So that's why I cannot promise that we will win but we can promise that we will give our all," the native of Germany said.
Goetz has called up 27 players for this camp, with four goalkeepers and six strikers, to test their play and find the best team for the SEA Games in Indonesia this November.
After a week of training, the team will play against North Korea's U23, U23 Singapore and South Korean student team at Thong Nhat Stadium.
There are three injured players, defender Nguyen Thanh Long Giang, midfielder Pham Thanh Luong and goalkeeper Tran Ba Chien.
"Some important players are injured. For me, it is very important to get players fit," he said.
"Luong's injury will not be a problem to prepare for the SEA Games later this year in Indonesia, but it is dangerous for him to train or play now," he said.
"In the case of Giang, the injury is very bad and we are not sure he can play in the SEA Games, but Giang said that he would try. If he can play, we have a stronger player but if not, we can find a replacement," he added.
The team also have a new member on the coaching staff, German physical therapist Sebastian Schoch.
Schoch is a physical therapist as well as a fitness coach. He trains with players on the field, Goetz said.
"We have to be fit because that is one of the most important things in my philosophy. I have been in this game long enough to know how to train players well," the 49-year-old said.
"We have several players without international experience, and we lack the leadership so we hope we'll find three or four leaders in training. The U23 players are very talented and we see a Vietnamese football future here with this team," Goetz added. — VNS