Head coach Park Hang-seo: “Vietnam national team always welcomes youth players”
On the morning of November 22, before the gathering of the Vietnamese team to prepare for the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022, head coach Park Hang Seo met and exchanged information with the press. The Korean coach affirmed that it is not true that “senior players” have default positions in the national team. The door of the team is always open to young players.
Head coach Park Hang Seo said: “Under my guidance in the past 5 years, the team has many new players. When choosing new players, in addition to their ability, they also have to see how they adapt and which play style they are suitable for. This is not in a short time, it’s not simple. If you just choose the player without taking responsibility, it is too simple. Our team has many young players, the average age is 25.7, including 7 players under 23, so that’s new. People think that old players are present by default, there is no place for young players. But that’s not true. The team is still open to young players.”
Mr. Park also shared that in the past 5 years, many players have been called up to the Vietnam team, but as the head coach, he refused to give a specific assessment to any individual. “I can only say that the players who have been called up are all worthy. They have good professionals, with good ethics, attitudes, and good character. Football is especially a collective activity, so it is also very important for the players to adapt to the collective activities. The players I called up all met these requirements,” said coach Park Hang Seo.
Regarding the team’s preparation for the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022, head coach Park Hang Seo said: “The team is still preparing as before, nothing special. Tactics have not changed much, but the organisation must be improved. Especially, the area defense must be enhanced for the players. Set pieces and free kicks are doing well, but we will have to make them more diverse. This time the list has 31 players, including Quang Hai. But some players are still busy with the National Cup, so they will be late, the team will be missed some players until all complete their tasks with the club.”
According to coach Park Hang Seo, the players have finished the V-League, but their physical condition and injuries are unknown. After a season, the spirit of the players is also tired, so the coaching assistants will have to find a solution to help the players return to the best status both physically and mentally. This is very important work.
The AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022 is the last tournament of coach Park Hang Seo as the head coach of the Vietnam national team. Evaluating this tournament, he said: “This tournament is my last, but we always prepare with the same mindset even at the end or the beginning. In the last tournament, the team lost to Thailand but it was not because of poor preparation or poor morale. We always prepare the best. I just wonder if this is my last competition, what do the players think? I see that the longtime players are a bit thoughtful, so next time I will focus on encouraging the players to stay happy and work as normally as before.
Regarding Group A, I have not paid much attention, currently, we pay attention to Group B. Malaysia has a Korean coach, and I understand their play style. Recently, I went to see the King Cup, seeing that they have a much better fighting spirit than before. I know that, in addition to the naturalized players, they also plan to naturalize 6 more players. Thailand, their level is still the top in Southeast Asia. However, in the immediate future, we will consider dealing with the opponents in our group, and Group A will calculate later.”
About the question of whether the gathering coincides with the time of the 2022 World Cup, whether the coaching assistants will manage the time the players watch the World Cup or organize to watch the matches to learn and gain professional experience? Coach Park Hang Seo replied: “Currently, the team has an analyst, he will analyze the data and point out the factors players need to adjust. I will show the players the analysis, which may include situations in the World Cup. Players now watch that World Cup. But some games are late, watching will be tiring, the next day affects the episode, I will have to remind. I think watching the World Cup is also good because there are new updates on the law as well as other trends. I, like the players, will have to learn as well. Of course, what you learn may not be immediately applicable, but it is necessary.”
Sharing more about the decision to stop taking the position of head coach of the Vietnam national team after the end of the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022, head coach Park Hang Seo said: “In October 2017, I officially led the Vietnamese team. On the very first days, I didn’t understand Vietnam very well, it was strange. For the first two years, I spent a lot of time learning, especially the characteristics of players. In the third year, I understood, Vietnamese people love football but always put great pressure on the team. When I renew my contract, I promise to try to complete the contract. I think I did it right. The decision to no longer lead the team I was thinking about a year ago, it was only a matter of the right time to announce it. In the past time, people have given me great encouragement to complete my work. Even though I’m not the coach of the team anymore, my thoughts and feelings are still there. I still love Vietnamese fans and football. I would also like to thank the press agencies for doing a great job in connecting information between me and the team to the fans.”
According to the plan, Vietnam Team will practice at the stadium of the Vietnam Youth Football Training Centre starting tomorrow (November 23). The group of players who are competing in the semi-finals and the final of the National Cup – BaF Meat 2022 will reunite later, after completing the task with the club. Midfielder Quang Hai is playing for Pau Club in the French second division and is expected to return to the country on December 15.
On November 30, the team will have an international friendly match with Borussia Dortmund at My Dinh National Stadium. This is a match that is highly appreciated by the team’s coaching assistants, because in addition to the meaning of football performance with the presence of high-class players of the two teams, playing with a powerful representative from the Bundesliga is also an opportunity for Vietnam Team to have an effective warm-up for the journey towards the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022.
After the match against Borussia Dortmund, Mr.Park Hang-seo’s team will move to Ba Ria Vung Tau for training from December 2 to December 10. After that, the team moved back to Hanoi to prepare for the international friendly match against the Philippines, scheduled to take place at Hang Day Stadium on December 14. This match is considered a “rehearsal” for Vietnam before coach Park Hang-seo decides on the shortlist for the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022 campaign.
On December 17 or 18, the team will travel to Vientiane (Laos) to prepare for the opening match in Group B against host Laos, which will take place on December 21, 2022.