National women face tough road to hoe

The national women's football team is hard at work in training camp in order to finalise their line up and rectify some of the problems that plagued them during their disappointing Asian Games performance.

The camp is of particular significance as the squad will have their first real test in February, when they line up against Thailand in their first Beijing Olympic qualifier.


Coach Tran Ngoc Thai Tuan, took full responsibility for the team's three losses at the continental event and said he had a lot of work ahead to iron out some of the team's problems.


Camp has been called earlier than usual in an effort to get some of the younger members of the squad time to gel with the more established veterans.


However, the nationals have lost two of their three friendlies to men's teams comprising of former professionals, with the other game resulting in a draw against a men's amateur side.


The women have openly said that their lack of conditioning was a key factor in determining the scorelines, and they will need to work harder with fitness coaches if they don't want to be muscled off the ball.


Aside from the results, the friendlies with the men brought o­n another problem in the form of a groin injury to key striker Le Thi Oanh. Team doctors have said that, she will be sidelined for at least three weeks and won't be ready to play in time for the first leg against Thailand.


Compounding matters is the lack of experience and depth in the forward positions. A relative rookie will be needed to pair with Bui Tuyet Mai up front and form an understanding quickly if the women are to be successful in the qualifier.


However, coach Tuan is looking at the injury as an opportunity to blood some of his young bucks and has refused to call up another striker with more experience into the national ranks.


"Although we are still in the process of fulfilling our potential, we need to understand that the most important thing to do as a unit is to play within our game plan, and know how to use the ball in different situations. They are going to have train harder though to meet our requirements," said Tuan.


During the friendlies the midfield proved to be a bright spot as incumbents Dao Thi Mien and Kim Hong made good use of the ball and marshalled a quality bridge between strikers and the backs. Youngsters Ngo Thi Hanh and Anh Tuyet also impressed ii the middle when they were given an opportunity to play.


The team will move to HCM City to train from tomorrow o­n, in order to better acclimatise to the balmy weather they will face in Bangkok.


Management has said that over the next 15 days of camp there will be a focus o­n skills, tactics and refining the full squad into a working unit.


Coaches will have a final opportunity to see what they have when the team plays three friendlies over the course of three days, before the final squad is named.


Vietnam is pitted against Thailand, Maldives and Singapore in their qualifying group, and is favoured to go through to the next stage.

Source: Viet Nam News