|Nguyễn Công Thành celebrate his most memorable goal last season against Hà Nội FC. Photo goal.com|
The V-League runner-up, the Hồ Chí Minh City Football Club, had a successful season last year with a silver medal for V-League 1 and a bronze medal for the Vietnamese National Football Cup. The left-back defender, Nguyễn Công Thành, was one of the most important elements of coach Jung Hae-seong's strategy that led to the club's success. Việt Nam News reporter Xuân Đăng talks to Thành about the team's preparation and goals before the league kicks off next weekend.
Inner Sanctum: Can you rate your team’s performance last season?
Last season can be considered a successful season for the club and me. Before the season, we set the highest goals. There were some moments that we were on top of the table, but unfortunately we ended up at second place on the table. However, we gave our best on the field every match.
Inner Sanctum: What was your most memorable moment last season?
It must be the one when I received the silver medal for V-League 1 and the bronze medal for the Vietnamese National Football Cup.
Inner Sanctum: You scored two goals last season. Which one was your favourite?
The last-minute goal in the match with Hà Nội FC in the 18th round of the league. It helped the team take back one point from Hà Nội and it kept us on top of the table at that time. It was even more memorable because it happened on my birthday.
Inner Sanctum: What are your goals and preparation for this season?
I have trained hard during the past couple of weeks with my teammates. My teammates and I always aim for the highest goals, and we will try our best to achieve them.
Inner Sanctum: In your opinion, which teams are candidates for the V-League championship?
I personally think that this year all the teams are well prepared. All of the teams have signed contracts with quality players. That's why I think the opportunity will be shared equally among all teams this season
Inner Sanctum: HCM City FC signed two quality players: striker Công Phượng and goalkeeper Tiến Dũng in the latest transfer window. Do you think they will help the club get good results this season?
Having good experienced players at the national team level like Phượng and Dũng will help the club have more choices and the team to achieve the best results in every match.
Inner Sanctum: How have the new club's new signings mixed with the other players during recent training sessions?
We've known each other for a long time and have practised when playing for the national team, so people haven't spent too much time trying to understand each other on the pitch.
Inner Sanctum: Let’s talk about you. Last year, you were named for the list of 32 players to prepare for the World Cup qualifiers matches with Malaysia and Indonesia. It was also your first time to play for the national team. What was your feeling at that time?
I was surprised and happy. Perhaps Korean coach Park Hang-seo saw my efforts on the field. I immediately called my parents and wife to tell them and everyone was happy and speechless.
For me, it is an honour and the utmost happiness to have the opportunity to play for Việt Nam. Being called to play for the national team is also motivation for me to try to show my best on the pitch.
Inner Sanctum: You came to professional football from non-professional football at the age of 19. Who has helped you in your career?
When I finished my semi-professional football tournament, I signed a three-year professional contract with NaviBank Saigon FC with coach Phùng Thanh Phương.
In addition, when I joined the team, my two big brothers on the field Tài Em and Long Giang have supported me on the field and in my normal life.
Inner Sanctum: Can you tell me about your community football centre?
At the beginning of this year, I opened a community football centre Star kids in Châu Thành District in Bến Tre Province for people aged 7 to 21. I will teach them when I have free time.
In addition, I have organised a charity football tournament to support poor households. VNS