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Five named to coaching short-list

Update: February, 27/2008 - 00:00

Five named to coaching short-list


HA NOI — The Viet Nam National Football Coaching Council has named a short list of five candidates for the job of national team coach, which was vacated when Austrian Alfred Riedl resigned after Viet Nam failed reach the Southeast Asian Games finals in Thailand last December.

On Tuesday, the Council, which comes under the Viet Nam Football Federation (VFF), selected five names from a list of 22 who had put their names forward for consideration last month. The final five are: Francisco Maturana Garcia from Colombia, Branko Ivankovic and Zoran Vulic from Croatia, Hans Juergen Gede from Germany and Dragoslav Stepanovic from Serbia.

The reported front-runner is former Dynamo Zagreb coach Ivankovic, who previously coached Iran and was assistant Croatia coach to Blazevic during the 1998 World Cup in France. The monthly salary for the job is expected to be between US$10,000 and $20,000.

"The coach of the Viet Nam team should know how to build a Vietnamese footballing style that is compatible with Vietnamese players’ fitness [and physique], which has been the Achilles’ heel of Viet Nam football," said chairman of National Coaching Council Nguyen Sy Hien.

Hien added that all five candidates for the job would be rigorously tested before a final choice is submitted to the VFF for approval. The VFF said it expected to name the new coach next month in preparation for ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Cup at the end of the year.

Riedl – who led the national squad to an unprecedented four silver medals in the 1998 Tiger Cup and the SEA Games in 2005, 2003 and 1999 – had been in the top job since his return in 2004.

He was selected ahead of Henrique Calisto of Portugal, who is the current technical director of Vietnamese League (V-League) team Dong Tam-Long An. Calisto also coached the national team for the Southeast Asian Football Championship (formally the Tiger Cup) in 2002.

Since 1996, Viet Nam has parted company with seven foreign coaches – Brazilian Edson Araujo Tavares, Briton Colin Murphy, German Karl Heinz Weigang, Brazilian-born Dutchman Edson Silva Dido, Portuguese Henrique Calisto, Frenchman Christian Letard and Riedl.

Viet Nam has yet to win a SEA Games or an AFF Cup title.

The national team’s best result was a quarter-finals’ place in the Asian Cup co-hosted by Viet Nam, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia last year. — VNS

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