Women footballers gear up for qualifiers
HA NOI — The national women’s team amidst a series of staff changes began preparations on Sunday for the second qualifying round of the 2008 Asia Football Championship, which will take place on March 1-9.
The first phase of training runs until the traditional Lunar New Year Festival on February 7, and the second begins on February 11.
The team consists of 30 members, including Chinese coach Chen Yun Fat and his assistants Bui Thi Hien Luong, Vu Ba Dong, Tran Ngoc Thai Tuan and Nguyen Manh Son.
In the qualifiers Viet Nam will compete with Myanmar, Chinese Taipei and Iran in group B, which also includes Thailand, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia and the Philippines. All the teams will compete in a round robin format. Group winners and first runners-up will qualify for the final round and will then compete against China, Australia, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Japan who are exempt from qualifying rounds.
Of the assembled 23 members, there are five new names on the team’s roster while the rest are those who took a silver medal at the Southeast Asian Games last month.
However, the team has lost players as well. Two players, Nguyen Thi Thanh Huyen and Nguyen Thi Huong, asked to have their names removed from the roster while attending the College of Sports and Physical Training, though the Viet Nam Football Federation (VFF) has not yet complied with their request.
Captain Doan Thi Kim Chi officially left the team due to her age. Nguyen Thi Muon is still not fully recovered from a recent injury and goalkeeper Duong Khanh Ly, who has been called up many times but never made the final list is uninterested in having the situation repeated.
A sudden change in the coaching staff by the VFF has further affected the team’s confidence. Hien Luong and Thai Tuan are two new assistant coaches replacing Kim Hong and Nguyen Thi Thuy Nga. Manh Son is replacing Luu Chu Hung as translator.
Head of the national women’s football division Can Van Nghia was not informed of these changes until after the decision had been made. He sent a letter to VFF, asking them to rethink their decision as the current staff has been successful.
He insisted the previous assistants had good relationships with the players and understood their personalities and aspirations. Chinese coach Chen also expressed appreciation for the strong relationships between his assistants and players.
Nghia threatened to resign if his request was not heeded.
However, the VFF was steadfast in their choice and the aforementioned coaches resigned on January 2.
VFF’s Truong Hai Tung said the change in staff was necessary in order to make the women’s team more competitive. Tung said the new assistants had worked for the team before Kim Hong and Thuy Nga and that the resigning coaches would now have positions coaching the U19 team. — VNS
- Soccer: Spanish women footballers to strike over pay and conditions
- Spanish women footballers to strike over pay and conditions
- How the US prepared for the Women's World Cup by ripping everything up
- USA rampage past Jamaica to qualify for 2019 Women's World Cup
- Will the US women's soccer team win their battle for equal pay?
- Did the USA women's national team abandon the old guard too quickly?
- Are the Portland Thorns the ideal template for a women's football club?
- The problems that may stop the US retaining the Women's World Cup
- USA fail to qualify for consecutive Olympics for first time in 48 years
- Vlatko Andonovski could be just what the USA women need to stay on top