|Sài Gòn FC have recruited young striker Võ Nguyên Hoàng of Việt Nam U19 and PVF. — Photo traders.vn|
HCM CITY — Surprise V.League 1 leader Sài Gòn FC have strengthened their squad with the loan signing of 18-year-old striker Võ Nguyên Hoàng from the PVF (Promotion Fund for Vietnamese Football Talent Football Training Centre).
The Việt Nam U19 forward helped U19 PVF win the 2020 National U19 Football Championship and is well regarded by national U19 coach and PVF technical director Philippe Troussier.
Hoàng was called up to the national U22 team last year when he was only 17 years old and is considered one of the country's top young prospects.
“Troussier sent Hoàng's video to us for analysis. Hoàng is young and has great potential. Sài Gòn don’t have many domestic strikers, so Hoàng will be able to play. He is capable of playing in the V.League 1 like former famous strikers Lê Công Vinh and Nguyễn Văn Quyến in the past,” said chairman and coach of Sài Gòn FC Vũ Tiến Thành.
For Troussier, Hoàng playing in the top-flight will help him prepare for the finals of the AFC U19 Championship 2020 in October.
French coach Troussier and senior national team coach Park Hang-seo have repeatedly expressed their concern that domestic strikers rarely get opportunities in the local league.
On Monday morning, Sài Gòn introduced their contract with Hoàng and he had his first training session with his new team in the afternoon.
“It is the first time I have trained with a professional team like Sài Gòn FC. Of course, it was very difficult and I was trying to adapt. The facilities of the club are relatively good,” said Hoàng.
“Because this is a professional football environment, it requires more than the youth football training environment like in the PVF. My goal is to try my best in every training session to show the coach and everyone that I am capable and I hope to play. For me, in a professional football environment, age does not matter,” Hoàng added.
Thành said he would create the best conditions for the youngster to compete and gain experience.
"I pledged to the PVF that I would give him chances to compete in the V.League 1 even if not right now. But anyway, for Hoàng to be in an environment like Sài Gòn will be much better for him,” said Thành.
Sài Gòn's attack is heavily dependent on Brazilian strikers Pedro Paulo and Geovane Magno, who have scored nine of the club's 16 goals this season. Their Vietnamese striker, Nguyễn Đình Bảo, has just played two matches and has not scored for the club in the past two years.
The signing will go some way to alleviating that dependence on the Brazilian pair, something Sai Gon may need to do if they hope to lift the title. The club doesn't have a youth training centre so unlike Hà Nội or Hoàng Anh Gia Lai, they can’t call up players back from younger squads when required. VNS