A future generation of Vietnamese footballers ready to shine

Vietnamese football lovers have more reasons than just the second-place at the 2018 AFC U23 Championship to believe in young players, as many of the next-generation footballers are ready for their chance to shine. Vietnam lost 2-1 to Uzbekistan in extra time during the snowy final to finish second at the U23 championship in China on Saturday, but it was more than enough to bring the whole nation pride as the young players elevated the country’s position in the continental arena. The Golden Stars beat giants including Australia, Iraq and Qatar on their path to the finale, going down to history as the first Southeast Asian nation to make it to the final game of the tournament.  Football academies reap sweet fruits Many players of the outstanding U23 team, such as star striker Cong Phuong and Captain Xuan Truong, are graduates of the Hoang Anh Gia Lai Academy, which began recruiting young football talents for its training program backed by English Premiership League side Arsenal in 2007. Hoang Anh Gia Lai Academy is the feed club for its namesake professional football squad now competing in V-League 1, the country’s top-level football competition. The academy is currently ‘incubating’ nearly 100 young football talents aged 14, 16 and 18, all recruited in three different sessions. This academy is not the only of its kind within Vietnam.  File photo of now U23 player Bui Tien Dung when he was a trainee at PVF in 2015. Photo: Tuoi Tre The football training center of… [Read full story]

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