HCM CITY (VNS)— It is a mammoth task for football officials to achieve the goals set out in the Football Development Programme by 2020, insiders admit.
The programme, approved by the Government, envisages the Vietnamese men's team becoming one of the 15 strongest in Asia by 2020 and entering the top ten by 2030, and the women's team becoming a fixture in the top six by 2020.
But insiders express doubts because it requires massive work on all aspects of the game that has recently taken a series of blows.
One of the country's most experienced and successful coaches, Le Thuy Hai, admitting the goals are largely unattainable, pointed out things that Vietnamese football needs to focus on in their pursuit.
The first and immediate task is to review the training of young players and draw up a plan to develop a pool of young talented players from the grassroots, he said.
"The training of young players must begin right now, so we have a crop of players by 2020s, and these players must not only be well trained but also have a good education."
Secondl, a larger number of standard-sized football pitches are needed, especially in the provinces that have V-League clubs, because these pitches would allow young players to practice and hone their skills frequently, he said.
There are few full-fledged pitches besides those at stadiums owned by professional clubs.
"Youth teams do not have any standard pitch to train," Hai, won two V-League titles with Binh Duong and has coached Thanh Hoa, Ninh Binh, and Hai Phong, said.
Final, Viet Nam should have a number of well-trained coaches with sound knowledge of training and teaching young players, all using uniform methods.
"We have too few coaches with the ability and experience to train young players and they use different methods as well," the 67-year-old said.
In the latest rankings released by FIFA, the women's national team ranks seventh in Asia. The country had been among the top six since 1999 before being overtaken by Thailand this year.
The men's team jumped recently to 16th, just one place away from the 2020 goal.
But for Viet Nam to be a real force in Asia, the above tasks have to be completed by 2020, and that requires passion and hard work over a long period of time from people running the game. — VNS