|Playing safe: Can Tho players train in preparation for the Toyota V-League, which kicks off tomorrow. — Photo bongdalove.net
HA NOI (VNS)— In its first match of the Toyota V-League, the Can Tho team is set to perform well and will not be relegated to the lower league.
"The club's leaders have only set a target for staying in the V-League and not being relegated to the lower ranks, but we are determined to stay at least in the mid-rankings for the 14 teams," said head coach Nguyen Van Sy, who earlier led the troubled Ninh Binh team.
In preparation for the event, which will kick off tomorrow, the team has signed a contract with talented goalkeeper Tran Buu Ngoc, who has been paid a transfer fee of VND6.6 billion (US$314,000) and a monthly salary of VND35million ($1,600).
Ngoc made his international debut for Viet Nam in a match against Hong Kong last year, after which Can Tho added him to its line-up, making the team feel secure in terms of its defence line.
"As the team is playing in both the V-League and the National Cup, the position of the goalie is very important," said Sy.
"Can Tho has been preparing very carefully and I think that the team will stay in the V-League successfully," Ngoc remarked.
Besides Ngoc, Sy has also recruited many young players, who have not played in the national premier league before. He expects these players to perform well as they are dedicated and eager to prove themselves in the upcoming event.
The coach has also retained five players who helped Can Tho win a promotion to the country's top-flight football championship: Phuong Tam, Kiem Linh, Minh Khoa and Van Quan, as well as Minh Thuan. A naturalised Vietnamese footballer, Nguyen Rogerio, also figures on Sy's list.
A total of 14 teams will compete in the league's two-leg round-robin format, which will begin today and end on September 20. — VNS