Women football team in preparation for four-nation tournament

After the national women’s championship, 26 players have been called up for the national team in preparation for a four-nation tournament in Ho Chi Minh City.

Ha Nam and Ha Tay contribute most players to the national team. Ha Nam have seven and Ha Tay, six. Ho Chi Minh City have five players called up, while the number is four for Hanoi, three for Quang Ninh and o­ne for Thai Nguyen.

Apart from veterans, there are many young players who can compete at SEA Games for many years.

Tran Ngoc Thai Tuan is the coach of the team and his two assistants include Bui Thi Hien Luong and Nguyen Thi Kim Hong. The possibility of a foreign coach for the team is still open. However, the Chinese coach, who led Ha Tay to the national title and coached the national team at the 2001 Asian championship with good understanding about Vietnamese football, is top favourite.

As planned the 26 players gathered at the National Sports Training Centre N0 1 in Hanoi from April 28 to prepare for a tournament of four teams, three from Southeast Asia, Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam, and Taiwan. Matches of the tournament take place in Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam play Taiwan o­n May 29, Thailand o­n May 31 and Myanmar o­n June 2. As there is a large gap between the level of teams in Southeast Asia, the previous Southeast Asian championships had a poor quality.
However, with the participation of Taiwan, strong team in East Asia, the four-nation tournament is expected to be more interesting.

have set a target of winning the tournament. This will be a momentum for the team to defend their gold medal at the 24th SEA Games in Thailand in 2007.

Apart from the tournament, the team will compete in many other international contests, including the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar, in December, the Asian championship in Australia from July 16-30, the Beijing Olympic Games qualifying stage. In Australia, Vietnam face strongest opponents in Asia, China, Japan and Taiwan. Vietnam may not expect to win a medal at the tournament and book a place at the World Cup, but they may gain experience from strong opponents in Asia and the world in preparation for the 24th SEA Games in Thailand.

Nhan Dan Newspaper