coach pushes Da Nang to glory
HA NOI — Le Huynh Duc,
37, has used strict discipline and a fierce offensive style to be one of the
most successful young coaches in the league since he has taken over as coach for
V-League’s SHB Da Nang from former coach Phan Thanh Hung about one year.
The former national
striker, who retired after three years of play in 2007, moved to Da Nang from
the former HCM City-based Eastern Asia Bank team, has built a powerful squad
with newly recruited players.
He set Pham Nguyen Sa to
patch the midfield hole when Nguyen Hong Minh moved back to Thanh Hoa last year.
Brothers Phan Thanh Phuc
and Phan Thanh Hung make up the rest of the midfield for the strongest trio in
Key scorer Jose De Emidio
Almeida from Brazil, who won the league’s best scorer title twice in 2007-08,
leads team-play with fellow countrymen Molina Gaston Eduardo, Rogerio Machado
Pereira and sweeper Rafael Marquez.
The top form players
helped the central team knock out Hai Phong Cement 1-0 in the V-League opener on
home turf Chi Lang Stadium.
It was Duc’s first
face-off against former coach Austrian Alfred Riedl, who has coached Hai Phong
Cement last October.
Riedl, who retired from
the national team after the 2007 Southeast Asian Games in Thailand, will have
more chances to clash with former players Tran Cong Minh and Trieu Quang Ha in
the top-flight championship season.
Duc took the national
Golden Ball award for best male player three times and contributed to the
national team in the Southeast Asian Championship in 2002 and 1996, when they
won bronze medals, and in 1998, when they claimed the silver.
"I really want to
give it my all for my team and expect we will take the top spot in the
V-League," Duc said in a phone interview.
"I hope to regain top
form again, to achieve what it took to be the 1992 Champions," Duc said
Da Nang placed fourth out
of 14 teams last year after poor performances for fifth and seventh places since
This Sunday, Duc and his
team will battle against two-time champions Hoang Anh Gia Lai in an away game in
Pleiku City, which will represent a tough game for Duc.
As extra incentive, Da
Nang have been offered a cash prize of VND700 million (US$40,000) if they win
Gia Lai welcomed the
return of their former coach Chatchai Paholpa last week. They also salvaged
their spirit after a 1-0 win over arch rivals Dong Tam Long An to qualify for
the National Cup quarter-final last Sunday.
The Central Highlands team
is eager to beat Da Nang on home turf in the third round of this season’s
V-League play to overcome their sadness over defeats by Dong Thap and HCM City
the previous two weeks.
Da Nang, who is sponsored
by Sai Gon Ha Noi Bank, have received VND400 million ($23,000) in cash prizes
since this V-league season began.
A 2-1 win over Dong Thap
at National Cup qualifying round last Sunday also gained them a bonus of VND350
The Cong will host
defending champions Binh Duong in an interesting meet at Ha Noi’s Hang Day
It will be battle between
former Binh Duong coach Le Thuy Hai, who helped Binh Duong triumph in the
V-League twice in 2007-08, and his former players.
Hai, who is The Cong’s
assistant coach, will meet his former top players Tran Truong Giang, Vu Nhu
Thanh, Huynh Quang Thanh, Nguyen Vu Phong and high-scorers South African Philani
and Brazilian Alves Kesley.
Binh Duong, who signed a
two-year contract with Portuguese coach Francisco Vital, will play with a strong
defence to curb the stormy attacks by The Cong youngsters in the anticipated
game on Sunday.
Other V-League Sunday
games will see Hai Phong Cement host Mikado Nam Dinh; Thanh Hoa take Song Lam
Nghe An; HCM City play Khanh Hoa.
At Long An Stadium, Dong
Tam Long An meet T&T Ha Noi, while Military Zone 4 test Rubber Dong Thap in
Vinh City. — VNS