|Players of the women's national football team train in Hà Nội. They will head to Spain from December 27 to January 15 for a training camp ahead of the 2022 Asian Cup. — Photo courtesy of VFF|
HÀ NỘI — Coach Mai Đức Chung and his squad of 23 players left for a short training camp in Spain yesterday, as they put together their final touches ahead of the 2022 Asian Women's Cup.
Chung on Saturday made a list of three goalkeepers, six defenders, 10 midfielders and four strikers after nearly four weeks of training in Hà Nội.
"We have about one month practice," said coach Chung.
"My players are in pretty good physique and they have played two friendly matches with one win and one loss. Playing against junior male teams but they did their task well and fluently followed our tactics.
"However, I still found some problems that would be fixed when we are in Spain. In general, we have reached 90 per cent of our strategy for the Asian Cup. We will adjust our training schedule and tactics to get in the remaining 10 per cent soon.
Chung called up a number of young players who will go along with him to protect their title at the Southeast Asian Games next May.
"They are young but quality. They will learn a lot from the training camp and the Asian tournament," said Chung.
In three weeks in Spain, Việt Nam, apart from intensive training, will have four friendly matches with three clubs who are playing for the second division league and one with a first-division side.
“Competing against Spanish female teams will help the coaching board carefully assess my players' abilities and performance. It will help us shape up our best first team and tactics prior our Asian Cup matches where we will face really strong rivals," said Chung.
Việt Nam are in Group C with Japan, South Korea and Myanmar, with the two first considered powerhouses who have dominated the continent for years with Japan going into the competition as defending champion.
The Southeast Asian champion hope their performance at the tournament will gain them a place in the 2023 World Cup for the first time in history.
"We were in tough group in 2018 and this tournament. This time, we will face either continental leading teams or a regional rival. We have to build plans for each match so that we could reach our target of advancing to the knockout stage."
At the competition which will be hosted by India from January 20 to February 6, five teams will qualify directly for the World Cup via the knockout stages, and two more teams will advance to the inter-confederation play-offs.
Having her name in the short list, young forward Nguyễn Thị Thanh Nhã's hard work paid off.
"I worked hard to win coaches' belief and get chosen. I improved my physique and weak points, learning from my seniors and coaches. My teammates and I are training well, strictly following the coache's plans applied for each rival in the coming Cup," said 20-year-old Nhã.
"It will be a difficult tournament as Japan and South Korea are strong teams. We will have to try hard to have points from these matches."
Nhã was first called to the national team to compete at the Cup's qualification in Tajikistan in September. She was played twice and scored two goals.
Defender Lương Thị Thu Thương was happy to join Chung's squad to Spain.
"I have to confess that I still have to try hard to improve my technique and physique. As a young member of the team, I receive strong support from coaches and help of experienced teammates. I believe that if I am given chances, I will complete my task, helping Việt Nam to get good results," said Thương, 21.
Defender Phạm Thị Tươi was happy to serve the team after one year out with a knee injury.
"I am fully recovered and ready to play," she said.
"Our mission this time is the Asian Cup finals, and further might be the World Cup. Personally, I hope I can strengthen Việt Nam's power and we will have good preparation and competitions. The more difficult rivals, the better we should be." VNS