Coach Hoàng Văn Phúc trains his new charges. Photo Hà Nội FC
HÀ NỘI — As the new coach of Hà Nội FC replacing Chu Đình Nghiêm, Hoàng Văn Phúc has some big shoes to fill.
The former national team head coach led Quảng Nam to the V.League 1 title in 2017 and expectations are high at the capital city-based club.
Phúc was born in 1964 in Hà Nội and played for Thể Công (1981-1986), Military team 3 (1986-1990) and Việt Nam Railway (1990-1996). In 2000, he started his professional coaching career when he joined Hà Nội ACB as an assistant. At the end of the 2004 season, Phúc became head coach and led the team in 2006-2008.
After being unable to help Hà Nội ACB stay in the top flight in 2008, Phúc started training junior players for the Việt Nam Football Federation (VFF). He led U16 Việt Nam to win the AFF U16 Youth Championship in 2008, U19 Việt Nam to the final round of the AFC U19 Championship in 2009, and U22 Việt Nam to win the second place of BTV Cup 2012.
In 2013, Phúc became the head coach of the national team with a two-year contract, a turning point in his career. In the qualifying round of the 2015 Asian Cup, Việt Nam suffered an embarrassing 1-0 defeat to Hong Kong.
At the 2013 SEA Games, under the guidance of Phúc, U23 Việt Nam only defeated Brunei, Laos and Cambodia, while they were lost to Singapore and Malaysia, marking the first time the country were eliminated from the group stages since 2001.
After this failure, Phúc resigned and was out for football for a few months before joining Quảng Nam.
At Quảng Nam, Phúc modernised the club and started using videos to analyse matches and training sessions.
In each pre-match meeting, players watched videos and presentation slides to prepare them for the match.
In addition to his tactical nous, Phúc was also a master of man management.
Hoàng Văn Phúc is newly appointed coach of Hà Nội FC. — Photo Hà Nội FC
“Players listen to me not only because of my ability. I don’t lead players in an ordered manner. Trainers themselves must be sociable and close to create a union for the team,” Phúc said.
In 2015, Quảng Nam finished eighth. A year later, they ranked fifth and then in the 2017 season, Phúc took the team to the title.
After leaving Quảng Nam in early 2019, Phúc returned to Hà Nội to take the role of director of the youth football training centre and made many silent contributions to the successes of Hà Nội youth teams in 2019.
At the beginning of the V.League 1 2020, Phúc coached Sài Gòn FC, but disagreements with the board caused him to leave immediately after the 0-0 draw with Sông Lam Nghệ An in the opening match of the season.
Phúc had his first training session with Hà Nội FC on Sunday afternoon at Hàng Đẫy Stadium in Hà Nội.
“It is true that at this time accepting this mission I feel very honoured and it is also a heavy responsibility for myself,” said Phúc.
“Farewell to coach Nghiêm, who has led Hà Nội for a long time and also has many achievements, so the players are a bit sad, but the players still show their professionalism, they trained enthusiastically,” Phúc added.
After the 1-1 draw with Hồng Lĩnh Hà Tĩnh and 2-0 defeat to SHB Đà Nẵng on Friday, the country's most successful team fell to sixth place, six points behind V.League 1 leaders Hoàng Anh Gia Lai.
The first challenge for Phúc is the capital derby between Hà Nội and Viettel at Hàng Đẫy Stadium tomorrow.
"This time is a very important stage in the national top-flight league. The morale of the players in the first training session is very good. It also our belief that we will fulfil the next tasks well,” Phúc said.
Coach Hoàng Văn Phúc is expected to help Hà Nội overcome this difficult period. — Photo Hà Nội FC
Midfielder Đinh Thanh Trung of Quảng Nam, who won the Golden Ball award in 2017, said Phúc will face difficulties when taking over an unstable Hà Nội side. However, he said he believed Phúc would be successful in his new position.
"I am happy and worried to hear that Phúc was appointed coach of Hà Nội. I am glad because Phúc is about to return to the V.League 1. When Phúc left Sài Gòn, he was always waiting for his return. Meanwhile, I worry because leading Hà Nội this time is a challenge for him," said Trung.
"Phúc took over Hà Nội in the context of this club facing an injury crisis. He is a qualified and dedicated trainer so I believe he will be successful.
“Earlier, Phúc built Quảng Nam in a style similar to that of Hà Nội. However, some barriers made this ambition impossible. Hà Nội are a strong team. Phúc's training will be suitable for the identity of Hà Nội,” Trung added.
Meanwhile, pundit Ngô Quang Tùng said Phúc is a suitable choice for the capital team.
"The biggest problem of Hà Nội at the moment is the spirit. Phúc needs to adjust that. The team’s framework is stable, but it still has weaknesses. Phúc had time to observe before being appointed, so he will know what to do,” Tùng said. — VNS
Hà Nội FC train hard under the guidance of coach Hoàng Văn Phúc. — Photo Hà Nội FC