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U19s ready for regional challenge

Update: August, 21/2015 - 08:34

Call up: Nguyen Quang Hai of Ha Noi Club has been named in the squad that will compete at the 2015 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) U19 Youth Championships. — Photo

HA NOI (VNS) — The national U19 men's team left for Laos yesterday with their eyes set on the 2015 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) U19 Youth Championship trophy.

Coach Hoang Anh Tuan said that in preparation for the event, which starts tomorrow, the team practised for more than a month. Tuan then selected the 25 best players from the training session.

Notably, the coach called on midfielder Nguyen Quang Hai of Ha Noi Club, even though Hai wasn't part of the 30-member training team. Hai played impressively in the Ha Noi jersey at the recent National First Division Football Tournament and caught the coach's eye.

Tuan also called on eight players from the PVF professional football centre, including goalkeeper Nguyen Thanh Tuan, midfielder Mac Duc Viet and strikers Ha Duc Chinh and Ho Minh Di.

Hoang Anh Gia Lai club contributed three midfielders Tran Thanh Son, Luong Hoang Nam and Phan Thanh Hau.

The coach believes with their physical strength and technique, Viet Nam will shine in Laos.

"My players come from various clubs but they fall in line with each other quickly. The team's way of playing has actively changed. I also focused on enhancing physical strength. I believe the team will have a good result in Laos," said Tuan who earned an AFC certificate and has received special training in India and Switzerland.

This is the 12th year of the championship and is hosted in Laos for the first time after its original host Indonesia was suspended by FIFA in May.

All 12 members of the AFF were set to take part in the tournament, but with Indonesia's suspension, the AFF reverted the tourney to two groups of six and five teams.

Viet Nam are in Group B alongside Myanmar, Timor-Leste, Singapore and Malaysia. Group A includes host Laos, Thailand, Australia, Brunei, the Philippines and Cambodia.

Viet Nam's key rival in Group B will be Myanmar, a team that already earned a ticket to compete in this year's World U20 Championship.

Viet Nam won silver medals at the event in both 2013 and 2014. — VNS

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