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Germany's Gede considered top choice for national coach

Update: March, 02/2008 - 00:00

Germany’s Gede considered top choice for national coach


HA NOI — German coach Hans Juergen Gede is the current favourite among the shortlisted candidates for the national football coaching post, which has been vacant since Austrian Alfred Riedl quit last December following the U-23 team’s unsuccessful performance at the Thailand Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.

The National Coaching Council finalised the narrowed list of nominees for the position at a meeting on Tuesday. The list will be submitted this week to senior officials of the Viet Nam Football Federation (VFF) for approval.

The council set up the following standards for choosing the eighth foreign chief coach of the national squad: possessing a comprehensive knowledge of Asian football; coaching for at least one national team; having a good plan for the team’s development; and good health.

Other candidates include two Croatians, Branko Ivankovic and Zoran Vulic, Dragoslav Stepanovic from Serbia and Francisco Maturana Garcia from Colombia.

Brief career biography of Hans Juergen Gede

Gede was born on November 14, 1956 in Germany.
He was a halfback for Schalke in the Bundesliga tournament (1975-76&1976-77), playing in 33 matches and scoring 2 goals.
After that he played for Preussen Muenster (1977-79) and Fortuna Cologne (1979-91) in 414 matches, recording 58 goals.
Achievements: The second top team in 1983 with the Cologne team and the second top team of Bundesliga with the Schalke team in 1977.
In 1991, Gede as coach brought the second-division Fortuna Cologne team to the Bundesliga but he stepped down one year later.
In 1994, he was the coach of the Persepolis club in Tehran, Iran and a third-tier team in Germany, KSV HEssen Kassel in 1996-97. In 1998, Gede led the U23 squad of Iran.
From 1999-2001, Gede was the coach of SV Lippstadt 08, a third-tier club in Germany and then assistant coach for another third-tier team, Rot-Weiss Oberhausen.
In April 2005 he became the chief coach of the Uzbekistan national squad but he was in this post for only one month. From 2005-2006, he led the Tarbiat Badani Yazd club of Iran and then the Al-Ahli club of Bahrain.

The Colombian, 59, had been the brightest candidate and one with an impressive background. Garcia led two Spanish teams, Real Valladolid and Atletico Madrid, the national teams of Colombia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Peru and now Trinidad&Tobago, but he took himself off of the list after signing a contract with the Trinidad and Tobago team.

The two Croatians, who each have a better Asian football background, however, are not likely to accept the VFF’s offer: Vulic just got a well-paid job with the Luc-Energia Vladivostok club while Ivankovic, who satisfies most of the standards set by the council, has been invited to come back to coach the Iranian team. Ivankovic is now the coach of the Dinamo Zagreb club.

Dragoslav Stepanovic only asked a monthly salary of US$10,000, the lowest of the five finallists. However, he has little knowledge of Vietnamese football and has never led a national team.

Gede, who submitted his file late, has therefore become the one who best suits to the VFF’s criteria. The German’s name was not in the list of 23 potential nominees, but he was introduced as a candidate by a Vietnamese football expert who lives in Germany and has won the VFF’s favour.

Both the members of the council and officials of the VFF want to choose Gede as the new coach of the national squad.

"We have chosen the five most suitable candidates, but frankly, we prefer the German expert," said council chairman Nguyen Sy Hien.

The council’s vice chairman, Tran Van Phuc, also confirmed: "I’ve worked with German coaches before, and they are masters of discipline and building physical strength. I think Viet Nam needs this kind of expert."

Chief of the football division of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism Mai Duc Chung said: "In this context, we need a coach who can maintain discipline, run hard-working practices, and improve the physical strength and professionalism of our players. And a German coach is a good choice for these requirements."

A key member of the national coaching board said if everything goes smoothly, Gede will be invited to work as the chief coach of the national football team.

The council selected five from the initial list of over 100 nominees. In the preliminary selection, several outstanding coaches were rejected because of requesting too high a salary (over $40,000 a month) or their age (over 60).

The VFF are contacting these candidates and asking them to send their plans for developing Viet Nam’s football squad. The federation hopes to choose the new coach this month.

According to a member of the council, this list is for reference only and the VFF can select other candidates as well.

Karl Weigang was the first of Viet Nam’s seven foreign coaches and the only German. He took the helm in 1995 and is remembered for introducing a high spirit and physically strong performance to the team that went on to win the 1997 SEA Games silver under his coaching.

Hien added that former Portuguese coach Henriquez Calisto and German technical director Rainer Wilfield are also likely to be approached for the job offer. — VNS

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