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Miura selects 26 players for AFF Suzuki Cup

HA NOI  — Japanese coach Toshiya Miura has formed a 26-member team that will train and compete for the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup to be held here, beginning November 22.

Japanese coach Toshiya Miura (R) shakes hands with striker Le Cong Vinh.
Japanese coach Toshiya Miura (R) shakes hands with striker Le Cong Vinh.

The new coach, who travelled around the country to watch games of the national leagues, said he has recruited three goalkeepers, nine defenders, 11 midfielders and three strikers.

Included were veteran midfielders Nguyen Van Quyet, Nguyen Trong Hoang and Pham Thanh Luong, along with striker Le Cong Vinh.

Miura said he was also impressed by and ended up recruiting into the team rookies such as centreback Que Ngoc Hai, defender Vo Huy Toan and midfielder Hoang Minh Tam.

The V-League’s top five clubs contributed the most number of players with 20. Champions Becamex Binh Duong, recognised for their excellent performance in the last few months, contributed six athletes.

Miura said he has yet to appoint his assistant coaches as he anticipated the possibility of working with one of his countrymen following discussions with the Viet Nam Football Federation on the matter.

The team will hold its first meeting on August 22 and will later take part in an 18-day training course.

The team is also scheduled for two friendly international matches, the first against North Korea at the My Dinh National Stadium on September 1 and the last against a yet unidentified team five days later at an undisclosed place abroad.

From September 26 to October 15, the team will be in Japan to compete against three local teams there. The team will then return home to take part in the HCM City International Football Tournament from October 31 to November 4.

Final preparations will include two friendly matches with international teams before the AFF Cup’s group round competition on their home turf on November 22.