HA NOI — Coach Toshiya Miura has said the doors are still open to all those players who aspire for a victory at the coming ASEAN Football Federation’s (AFF) Suzuki Cup.
The Japanese has a list of about 60 players. There are six to seven players ready for each position in the team and Miura said it was a good preparation as he would have substitutes for those who got injured, were out of form or faced bans.
“I will bring in several young players, but they have to compete for a position in the team until the last seconds,” said Miura after a draw in Ha Noi on Tuesday.
The 51-year-old coach said players who showed their capacity and determination would also be selected. V-League still had one last round so his duty (to choose players for the national team) was not done yet. Miura would not like to lose the opportunity to pick qualified players, even at the last minute, because history has proved that numerous victories have been achieved with the element of surprise.
The Vietnamese squad will have nearly three months to practise before taking part in the Cup, which starts on November 22.
They will be coached in three stages. The first one is from August 22 to September 7. During this time they are expected to play a friendly match against North Korea.
The second stage is from September 26 to October 15 in Japan where they will compete against three teams organised by the Japan Football Association (JFA).
The third stage is in Viet Nam from October 20 to November 11. The team will compete in the HCM City International Football Tournament and play two friendly matches in Ha Noi. The Viet Nam Football Federation (VFF) is planning to invite the Palestine national team as one of two rivals.
To help the national team reach peak fitness the VFF Deputy Chairman Tran Quoc Tuan flew to Japan yesterday to meet with a fitness trainer and a goalkeeper coach introduced by the JFA.
In case they agree to the terms they will soon be in the country to work with the team.
At present, Miura is assisted by experienced Mai Duc Chung, who is manager of the national women’s football team and young coach Dang Phuong Nam, the former national striker. Former national Nguyen Van Phung takes care of training goalies.
This is not the first time that a fitness trainer has worked with the national team. Previously, Dylan Kerr, who now manager of V-League’s Hai Phong side assisted Viet Nam during the Cup in 2012.
Viet Nam is in Group A with Indonesia, the Philippines and a qualifying round team.
Miura said, although Viet Nam was not a title favourite this year he set a target of winning the title again after the first win in 2008.
Viet Nam are one of two hosts of the tournament.