Experts in Vietnam have begun the debate over the make-up of the U-22 national football team to compete at the 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in 2017 in Malaysia.
There are two main points of view – select the best players from V-league clubs, or select the best players from the Hoang Anh Gia Lai – Arsenal JMG Football Academy to form the core of the team.
Coaches Doan Minh Xuong and Nguyen Huu Thang agree that the Vietnamese national U-22 football team at the 29th SEA Games should be based on the main frame of the Hoang Anh Gia Lai – Arsenal JMG team.
The best players of the football academy won the title at the 9th International Thanh Nien Newspaper U-21 Football Tournament last week in Ho Chi Minh City.
Star players including Cong Phuong, Tuan Anh, and Xuan Truong are talented graduates of the first seven-year training course of the academy, who have given impressive performances in recent tournaments.
The selection of the cadre of a club to form a national team is not a new idea in the world of football.
Players of Bayern Munich FC have historically been selected to form the main frame of the German national team.
Closer to home, former Vietnam national team coach Alfred Riedl from Austria often chose players of The Cong FC to make up the frame of his national team.
However, the ultimate decision will fall on Toshiya Miura, the current head coach of Vietnam.
Miura prefers players able to handle themselves physically and who are able to play long passes, while players of the Hoang Anh Gia Lai – Arsenal JMG Football Academy are not necessarily picked for their physical prowess and tend to play a short passing game.
Doan Nguyen Duc, owner of the academy, suggested enlisting players from his squad into the national team for the 2015 SEA Games in June in Singapore, but his calls were not heeded.
“Vietnam still have enough time to win gold at the 2017 edition in Malaysia, if my players are selected to form the core of the national U-22 team,” Duc said.