HA NOI — Phan Thanh Hung has become the first Vietnamese coach in 16 years to take charge of the national and U22 football teams after a signing ceremony held yesterday in Ha Noi.
|Star coach: Viet Nam Football Federation Chairman Nguyen Trong Hy (left) presents a national jersey to newly-appointed head coach Phan Thanh Hung. Hung will take charge of the national and U23 teams for 16 months, starting in September. — VNS Photo Quang Thang
According to the contract with the Viet Nam Football Federation (VFF), Hung will take charge of the squad for 16 months starting on September 1.
"I feel confident and believe that I can do a good job," Hung told Viet Nam News.
The head coach position was left vacant after German coach Falko Goetz was dismissed last December.
Hung was chosen for the role after fulfilling the criteria required by the VFF during an eight-month recruitment process.
"There were varying opinions during the selection process, but we finally shortlisted three candidates and held many meetings with them. Hung was selected for his proven ability at both club and international levels. He has also been working with the national team as an assistant for years," said Nguyen Sy Hien, chairman of the Coach Council.
During his career, Hung guided Da Nang's U21 team to the title in 2008 and 2009. He was called up to assist the national coach at the 2008 AFF Cup, where Viet Nam took the crown. Later, Hung triumphed in the V-League with Ha Noi T&T in 2010 and won the National Super Cup in 2011.
In his recent matches as caretaker manager of the national team, Viet Nam lost 0-3 to China before beating Hong Kong 2-1 and Mozambique 1-0.
The Da Nang City-born coach will guide the Viet Nam squad in three tournaments: the Southeast Asian Football Federation (AFF) Cup from November 24-December 22, the Southeast Asian Games, and the Asian Football Championship qualifiers next year.
He has been set a target of qualifying for the AFF Cup and the SEA Games, as well as the main round of the Asian tournament.
"I will be in charge for three events over the next 16 months, and I totally agree with the VFF's goals," said 52-year-old Hung.
"I have worked with the VFF and domestic teams for several years so I deeply understand the situation. I am also coach of Ha Noi T&T so I will have the chance to see the V-League's top players in action over 26 rounds of matches. I believe that I will make the best team selection," Hung said.
"Viet Nam won the AFF Cup in 2008 although we were not expected to. I was an assistant during that tournament so I knew what we were capable of. That was four years ago, but I think we still have the ability and a chance of winning the gold medal. Although we face a tough challenge, the coaching staff and players will work together to build a strong team."
The coach also revealed that he and his assistants have designed a training plan for the AFF Cup starting on September 4.
The team will take part in three training sessions from September 3-23, October 1-November 4 and November 7-19.
"Preparation is always important ahead of every tournament. We will have a suitable break after each session to ensure we play our best.
"Coaches and football officials are often under a lot of pressure, but the VFF will make sure he has everything he needs to work at both national and club levels. His assistants will also be there to lend a hand to build a successful team," said VFF Chairman Nguyen Trong Hy. — VNS