“After witnessing the PVF U18’s 2-1 victory against the U.18 Lazio, the assistant to the opponent team’s head coach said they were astounded by Vietnamese players’ ability to organize styles, techniques and briskness,” Coach Nguyễn Phúc Nguyên Chương shared.
From promises to reality
“The tour to Italy came into being based on an idea given two years ago by Nguyen Hoang Long, Vietnam ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Italy. During a visit to the training center of the Promotion Fund for Vietnamese Football Talent- PVF, he promised to make arrangements so that Vietnamese footballers could go on a competition tour in Italy. The promise is now realized. Long’s idea went well with what PVF leaders are working on: helping the PVF incubator to reach out to the region scale and beyond Asia. This does not mean our players are on par with their European counterparts reguarding quality. But holding exchanges with and learing from leading football powers in the continents are the PVF leaders’ principal goals,” Coach Nguyễn Phúc Nguyên Chương happily revealed the reason behind the training tour to Italy.
(From right to left) Ambassador Nguyen Hoang Long, head coach Nguyên Chương, delegation head Mạnh Cường, and assistant Hien Vinh pose for a photo with Coach Simeone Inzaghi, younger brother of Milan Head coach Pippo Inzaghi, who is coaching the youth team at Lazio Club. Courtesy of the people involved.
The Italy tour is part of PVF’s plans to promote, hold exchanges and extend partnership, following cooperation with leading Asian clubs in Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.
Earlier, PVF also inked cooperation agreements to hold annual exchanges with Asia’s topnotch clubs including Osaka (Japan), and Busan Ipark (South Korea). PVF sends players to compete in friendlies in Japan and South Korea every year, in addition to the Frenz (2014), and Malaysia’s international U18 tournament.
(From left to right) Coach Nguyên Chương, Pescara Club President, Ambassador Nguyen Hoang Long, and President of the local Olympic committee exchange souvenirs. Photo Courtesy of those involved.
As Coach Nguyên Chương revealed, the journey to Italy is just like a dream: “Truly speaking, a training tour to Italy is a dream for not only Vietnamese players but for all football teams in the world. PVF pins hopes for long-term cooperation with leading youth football incubators in Italy. We really want our students to access the world-leading football environment to learn and practice state-of-the-art techniques. That will be their necessities when they graduate and are ready to contribute to Vietnam football!”
The PVF U18 players celebrate their shocking triumph against the Lazio U.18. Photo courtesy of those involved.
Football and the significance of applied sciences
Mr Chương believes the training tour to Italy marks a milestone for the PVF youth incubator, as it was there that he and all the other delegation members acutely sensed the sheer effects and efficiency of applied sciences in football.
He said: “We joined three friendlies with the youth teams of Lazio, Perugia, and Pescara.Their facilities are all superb. Each club owns a main stadium for the First Division team to practice in preparation for the national championship. The clubs also have succeeding youth teams. For example, the U19 team is the second division of the first division team, in addition to other ages such as U.18, U.17, U.16. Boys aged 11 and 12 drill on artificial-grass pitches at sports centers. What hugely impressed me is that each center has at least three to four drill fields. All the clubs own Artificial pitches where the juniors practice after their academic classes.
Nguyễn Hoàng Long, Vietnam ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary to Italy, handed mementoes to young Vietnamese footballers. Photo courtesy of those involved.
He believes Vietnam can absolutely learn from and apply what they witnessed into the domestic football: “Each of The training centers in Italy basically has their own operation and training methodology, but they have many things in common in terms of the model. The U.19 Lazio depends on the playing styles and formations of the First team. If their formation is 4-3-3, U.19 and U.18 teams will adopt the same formation. However, at Peguria, their First division team play in the formation of 3-4-3, but their U18 team adopts the setup of 4-2-3-1. Despite their simple look, the facilities, ranging from pitches to the medical services, are sufficient and highly efficient in serving professional football thanks to perfect scientific applications. In Italy, science is applied to facilitate footbally maximally. Hopefully Vietnam football will gain access to and apply such scientific knowledge and fruits.”