Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — With a mixed team of young and experienced players, Hà Nội FC hope to win the V.League title this year. The tournament will kick off on March 10.
Having participated in V.League for a decade, the representative of the capital city has always been a contender for the national premier league title.
They won the trophy in 2010, 2013 and 2016 and finished second in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015.
On Wednesday, the team announced its players, who hope to reclaim the title for the fourth time.
Midfielder Nguyễn Văn Quyết will be the skipper of the team. The international player denied an attractive offer from Malaysian Kedah FC to stay with Hà Nội this season. He had earlier refused an offer from Muangthong United of Thailand.
Quyết, however, will not play in the first two matches of the season as he has been imposed a fine by the Việt Nam Football Federation.
Quyết will command seven players who finished a great AFC U23 Championship in China in January. Among them are midfielders Nguyễn Quang Hải, Đỗ Duy Mạnh, Phạm Đức Huy and Đoàn Văn Hậu.
Some players from youth squads will be pushed to the first team to help them gain experience and prepare for tough matches in future. They include Hồng Sơn, who plays for the national U18 team and Minh Dĩ and Sỹ Huy of the national U20 team.
They will be supported by veteran teammates, including former national player Phạm Thành Lương and foreign players Moses Oloya and Oseni.
“Currently, we have seven national U23 players in the team. They played very well at the Asian Championship, but in the harsh environment of V.League, they will need to make more effort to contribute to the club,” said coach Chu Đình Nghiêm.
“Younger players will be used this season. They are ‘products’ trained by our own centre. They will show our trademark game at V.League. Days ahead of the tournament, we had a meet and set a target of winning the title this season. It is difficult when we can see the same quality in teams. But we are determined to take back the trophy that we lost last year,” Nghiêm said.
The coach, too, is a highlight of the team as he is a stable moral and spiritual support for the players.
Nghiêm is one of the club’s most experienced members as he has been with the team from its early days in 2005.
In 13 years, Nghiêm has been an assistant to four head coaches, before being given the hot seat in 2016.
In the same year, under his guidance, Hà Nội won the V.League title and finished second in the National Cup.
Last year, Hà Nội came third in the last few minutes of the season, conceding the trophy to Quảng Nam FC.
Apart from the title, Hà Nội also want to attract more supporters to Hàng Đẫy Stadium.
The presence of U23 players in the team is expected to lure more fans to the stands.
Earlier this year, Hà Nội initiated other activities, such as setting up their own professional supporters’ association, organising meets between fans and players, improving their facilities and, in future, building a new stadium.
Hà Nội will play their first match against Hải Phòng on March 11 on their home ground.
In 2017, Hà Nội drew Hải Phòng 1-1 in the first leg match and beat them 2-0 in the second. — VNS