|Sanna Khánh Hòa have never been a powerhouse in the V. League, but have remained the ‘dark horse’ for several seasons and are arch-rivals of teams including the title favourites. — Photo bongda.com.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Sanna Khánh Hòa have never been a powerhouse in the V. League, but have remained the ‘dark horse’ for several seasons and are arch-rivals of teams including the title favourites.
Sanna Khánh Hòa defeated rivals such as Hải Phòng, SHB Đà Nẵng and Quảng Ninh Coal, and had the most dramatic finish of the premier league last year.
Coach Võ Đình Tân has just completed his list of 30 players who will compete in the 2017 season. It promises to be a challenge for every club at the event which will kick-off this weekend.
Sanna Khánh Hòa ended last year at eighth position among 14 teams. It was not a high-ranked position but from an overview of their personnel in comparison with other clubs, their final rank was acceptable.
Khánh Hòa are not as rich as Becamex Bình Dương. They also have no brilliant tradition or well-known training centres such as those for Sông Lam Nghệ An. But they ended up on a higher position than both these clubs.
“Our club managers are satisfied with the final position especially the Fair Play Award that we received. It proved our serious spirit and contributing attitude no matter where we played, home turf or away ground. And we are proud of that,” Tân said.
Going into the new year, Khánh Hòa will use their young players who grew up at their own centre together with some newcomers.
They are to fill the gaps left after senior members Viết Đàn, Văn Thanh and Cao Văn Triền said goodbye.
Nguyễn Đình Lợi from TDC Bình Dương of the First Division will take charge of the left wing. Hoàng Nhật Nam from Nam Định will strengthen the midfield, and Dioa Sadio from Quảng Nam will be the new weapon on the front line.
Young members Nguyễn Đoàn Duy Anh, Công Thành, Đình Khương and Văn Vũ have been added to the main team and are expected to be the key elements of the team in the near future.
Coach Tân extended the contract with halfback Chaher Zarour for another year. The Frenchman had an impressive performance in the defence line after a year with the central region team.
“Five players decided to separate from us. Among them, Uche Iheruome was a good player and a play maker in our playing style, but we could not keep him here because of his steep demands. So, we found new contracts to make sure of our power in the coming tournament,” Tân said.
“Last year, my young players were on the field in some matches, and they showed their ability. This year, we will continue to put our trust in them,” he said.
“We do not have very strong players but we are going to play the best football, and I believe that we will not have to fight to avoid relegation. Even if there is a slight chance we will take it to achieve a higher ranking.”
Khánh Hòa will meet former champions Becamex Bình Dương in their opening match on Sunday.
In their two meetings last season, Khánh Hòa drew one and lost one. — VNS