Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — New national football head coach Park Hang-seo wants to push Việt Nam into the world top 100 during his two-year reign.
The South Korean coach set the target at a contract signing ceremony with the Việt Nam Football Federation in Hà Nội yesterday.
“I am only just getting to know the Vietnamese side and I do not have much information yet. However, after seeing how they performed against Cambodia yesterday (2019 Asian Cup qualifying match on Tuesday), I knew there are similarities between me and the team in terms of playing style,” Park said through an interpreter.
“Việt Nam are No 130 in the world and I hope during my term here I can propel them into the top 100,” he added.
Park arrived in Hà Nội on Tuesday and watched Việt Nam defeat Cambodia 5-0 at the Mỹ Đình Stadium.
He congratulated the team, saying he was satisfied with the players, their playing style and the result. However, one thing concerned him, which was that Cambodia was able to get the ball very easily to Việt Nam’s side and even broke through deep into the penalty area. He said he would have to fix this problem first.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Park said football was a team sport, and not about an individual. He would build a team which maintained discipline, was well organised, and one that was well prepared to deal with all sorts of situations during the course of a game.
“I will ask players to use rapid and short balls and they should always be moving around. To do this, they will have to focus and maintain strict discipline,” Park said.
“Under my charge, Việt Nam’s playing style will be a combination of their strong points and new things they learn from me.
“I believe it is important to improve training activities and develop young talent. We will have to utilise to our best our advantages and source of personnel to achieve our target.
“Everyone (in the team) must understand their duty and work hard. They need to have the best spirit and physique. I will ask the federation to summon the players sooner so that they can practice more with each other.”
When asked about his targets for regional tournaments during his two-year stint in Việt Nam, the 58-year-old coach said winning in the Southeast Asian arena was obvious. He would also try his best to help Việt Nam compete competitively at Asian competitions.
Park will coach his first match when Việt Nam take on host Afghanistan on November 14 during the 2019 Asian Cup qualifier.
“I do not have much time to prepare for that game. I will select a team based on the recent list. And I hope Việt Nam have more wins,” Park said, who will take charge of the U23 team and the Olympic squads at the same time.
It is the first time Việt Nam have a head coach from South Korea. According to the Korean media, Park is the third from the country to coach a foreign national team, following Yoo Kee-heung, who coached Nepal from 1998 to 2003, and Kim Pan-gon, who has been leading Hong Kong since 2012 till date.
Before him, several foreign coaches came to Việt Nam but did not succeed. The latest was Japanese Toshiya Miura, who was fired two months before his contract ended.
Coach Mai Đức Chung, who was in charge of the team during their two wins before Park’s arrival, hoped the South Korean trainer would do a better job than him. Việt Nam will play two more games at the Asian Cup, and under Park, it is hoped the team will play well and earn a slot in the final.
After signing the contract which is valid until the end of 2019, Park will return home to finish his work with his former club of Changwon City, who are playing in the South Korean National League, third division.
Park was a midfielder and played for the national teams from 1978 to 1982.
He played for two clubs before retiring in 1988 to become a coach.
In his coaching career, Park is best known for being assistant to Guus Hiddink, who took South Korea to the World Cup semifinals in 2002, held in Japan and South Korea.
He was head manager of the U23 national team that won a bronze medal at the Asian Games in 2002. He was also national head coach assistant during the 1994 World Cup in the United States.
Park possesses training certificates issued by the Asian Football Confederation. He has earlier worked at training centres of Palmeiras FC of Brazil and Bayer Leverkusen FC of Germany.
At the club level, he coached Gyeongnam FC, Jeonnam Dragons and Sangju Sangmu, the regular team of the K-League Classic, the highest level tournament in his country.
He has won many other awards with local teams. Among them are the K-League Challenge titles, the second division tournament with Sangju in 2013 and 2015 and the National League Cup 2017 with Changwon City. — VNS