Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Quảng Nam FC kicked off the V.League 2018 with a ceremony on Saturday, when they announced their target of being among the top three teams this season.
Quảng Nam, a considered underdog team in the premier league, are the V.League’s reigning champion and the National Super Cup winner. They won both titles for the first time last year.
“We have played in the V.League for four seasons, so what we have done is remarkable. There is nothing better for a coach, then to experience such happiness,” said coach Hoàng Văn Phúc.
“I believe that the feeling of guiding a big team to victory would not make me as happy as I am now. We are a team from a small town, and won two cups in a row. It is our pride.”
Phúc said his tiny team made plans for every match and strictly followed their tactics. They received strong support from local fans, provincial leaders and, more than that, the players competed in comfortable conditions, without any pressure.
He said he hoped that these values would continue to push them to success in the new season.
“We won, but we were not pleased with what we did last season. This year, we are heading to play beautiful football and try our best to be in the medal group. We also want to win the National Cup trophy to complete our title collection,” said Phúc.
At the Saturday ceremony, Quảng Nam also introduced their newcomers, including goalkeeper Trần Đình Minh Hoàng, right defender Trịnh Văn Hà, left defender Nguyễn Trần Mi La, central midfielder Ngô Quang Huy, winger Ngô Đức Thắng and striker Wander Luiz.
The new players are expected to provide strong support for the older players, in which only Đinh Thanh Trung is well-known among national fans. Trung is the national team player who won the Golden Ball statue as the best player of 2017.
One of Quảng Nam’s difficulties is in key striker Claudecir Junior’s leaving. He scored 12 goals and assisted in three others, and was the team’s leading scorer.
“It is regrettable that he has departed. But on my team, none are irreplaceable. You can see Luiz is a good player. If we are lucky, he could net a goal in the Super Cup match. In Quảng Nam we highlight our solidarity and discipline. Players are asked to follow the rules. There is no star here.”
According to the former national coach, it would be difficult for his team to defend the title.
He said Quảng Nam previously had never been appreciated, but the situation is different now.
“We might not see surprises, like last year, because every team knew our playing style. On the other hand, my players have to shoulder heavy pressure, as they are the defending champions. Their spirit in the coming match will be different, and we must work harder for every game.
“Moreover, other teams, such as FLC Thanh Hóa and HCM City, have showed their great determination to win the trophy this season. They have shopped a lot, bringing home quality players.”
Quảng Nam will start its journey with a match on home turf at Tam Kỳ Stadium against Sài Gòn FC this Saturday. — VNS