Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Quảng Ninh Coal have set a target of entering the V.League top three in the 2017 season.
Next year, Quảng Ninh will also participate in two other competitions — the National Cup and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup.
Quảng Ninh, which finished fourth in the previous season, have started working on their plan, with activities related to personnel and professional practice.
Apart from adding three local players — Phạm Nguyên Sa and Giang Trần Quách Tân from SHB Đà Nẵng and Dương Thanh Hào from Hà Nội FC — the managers also signed a contract with Congolese Patiyo Tambwe, who was the best scorer of the V.League in 2015, and midfielder Ramon from Brazil.
They are also hunting for an Asian player to complete their list.
Quảng Ninh joined the V.League in 2014 and was ranked No. 6 in the debut season. During the next two years, they maintained a No. 4 position, which allowed them to take part in the continental tournament for the first time.
At the club’s sending off ceremony on December 25, President Phạm Thanh Hùng reviewed Quảng Ninh’s performance in 2016, which saw remarkable achievements.
“2016 is a successful year for the team with wonderful matches at the V.League, in which we finished fourth finally. The best memory is the trophy of the National Cup, the first-ever title for the team, which we grabbed just three years since we joined the national premier league,” Hùng said.
The president also added that Quảng Ninh would try hard to be one of three strongest teams in 2017 and would strive to bag the title if it saw an opportunity.
Coach Phan Thanh Hùng, who has been with the team for one year, also shared this opinion.
“I have a team with strong streak of competitiveness. In my first season with Quảng Ninh everything was impressive. We reached a high result thanks to the coordination among players, managers and province’s leaders,” Hùng said.
“We are looking forward to playing beautiful yet effective football. We are building a club of qualified and moral players. We are paying more attention on our youth who will be our future.
“We have nearly finished our plan for the new season, in which we hope to fly high in both local and international competitions,” the coach said. He also hailed the home fan club, which followed and provided impressive support to the team in all matches.
Speaking at the ceremony, Quảng Ninh Province’s People Committee Chairman Nguyễn Đức Long applauded the team, promising to create the best conditions for it, and said the committee would join hands to help resolve any problems that may influence the team’s development.
The V.League will kick off on January 7 and Quảng Ninh will compete against defending champions Hà Nội FC.
The National Cup will be kicked on February 4. Quảng Ninh get a bye to the second round with their rivals are unknown yet.
Earlier, two teams — the winner of the V.League and the National Cup holder — will meet each other at the National Super Cup at Hàng Đẫy Stadium on December 29.
According to statistics, Quảng Ninh are a favoured side, as in the last four meetings, they won two, draw one and lost one. In September, Quảng Ninh beat Hà Nội FC 6-5 in aggregate to bag the National Cup.
Coach Hùng, who is Quảng Ninh’s mastermind, knows Hà Nội FC by heart as he was head coach of the team for some six years.
In the AFC Cup, Quảng Ninh are in the same group as Myanmar’s Yadanarbon, Laos’ Lanexang United and the winner of the qualification match between Cabodian Phnom Penh Crown and Home United from Singapore.
“We are highly determined to play well at the AFC Cup. We are there as a representative of Việt Nam. It is our honour and responsibility to fight for the country," president Hùng said.
Their first match will be against Lanexang United on February 22 in Vientiane. — VNS