Nguyen Quang Truong: ‘From ”chubby boy” to Vietnam U15 goalkeeper’

Coming to football as a charm, at the age of 16, the goalkeeper of PVF U17 & Pho Hien U19, as well as Vietnam U15 National Team has soon determined the path for the future.

Wiping away the sweat after a training session on May 4, Nguyen Quang Truong said: “When I was young, I was so fat that my mother decided to take me to the football center near my home to train for losing weight. I try to practice. The teachers at school and coaches at the center saw that I had potential, and encouraged me to participate in the tournaments: from school tournament, district tournament, provincial tournament, all the way to the National U10 Children Championship in 2014.

nguyen quang truong

Fate brought me to the starting goalkeeper position when goalkeeper U10 of the province was injured. I was given a chance by the coaches. After finishing the tournament, my father said I was spotted by coach Trinh Tan Thanh of PVF, and I received a invitation letter to the Academy in Ho Chi Minh City for a trial. I had never thought that I would be provided with such a great opportunity. Thinking back, I still feel a bit lucky.”

As a boy who has just moved from the countryside to the city, besides the challenge on the pitch against the strikers, the young goalkeeper Quang Truong also had to deal with the real challenge: homesickness. “For 7 days of a week, I cried for 5-6 days. I cried on the pitch, then I cried in the dorm room. After 2 months, Coach Tri Cuong (former PVF goalkeeper coach, currently working at Juventus Academy, Ho Chi Minh City) allowed me to go home for 1 week for me to decide whether to continue pursuing football or not. After that, I decided to came back to PVF. Mom also followed me to Saigon. She worked at my aunt’s diner in Go Vap district. In the afternoon, she came to comfort me, encouraged me, and then returned to my aunt’s house, every day for 6 months. When I was stable, my mother returned to my hometown of Ben Tre. “

Two years later, Quang Truong travelled with PVF U13 to Korea for a friendly tournament. Although he was trusted to be given the starting role, he did not perform well in 3 of 5 matches of the team. Fortunately, PVF was about to be moved to Hung Yen in that period. Many coaches wanted to give Truong the opportunity to see if he continues to develop.

So the young goalkeeper was given a chance to make amend. Quang Truong said he learned from coach Tri Cuong the stubbornness, bravery and discipline. The prompt encouragement from friends is also the motivation for him to overcome the previous mistakes, and to move forward and not to disappoint people.

The goalkeepers who was part of Vietnam U15 and U16 National Team in 2019 said his most memorable match was the encounter against Timor Leste U15 at the 2019 AFF U15 Championship. “In the 23rd minute I had a strong collision with my teammate. Later, I was told that I had temporary memory loss. The team doctor then asked me if I could play. I said yes. I could not understand why I could stand tall during the remaining minutes.”

“I only remember the goal was scored in the 73th minute. Other than that, I could not remember how I moved, or what I talked to teammates. After beating the team that has been overperforming in the tournament, Vietnam U15 stepped into the semi-finals. Unfortunately the team did not have good results after that. Same story happened at the AFC U16 qualifiers. When the team seemed to have secured the ticket to the final tournament, we conceded in stoppage time. ” – Quang Truong said.

Quang Truong said he learned and developed rapidly after his failures. The goalkeeper is not allowed to be over-confidence in all situations. For a single situation, they may have to train repeatedly to establish beneficial habits. “Coaches always reaffirm that they do not want to specify who is the first-choice or second-choice goalkeeper. The starting position is reserved for the best performing goalkeeper.”

The goalkeeper of PVF U17, and currently Pho Hien U19, said he is trying every day to improve his reaction ability, ball handling and especially playing with his feet. The confidence and stability of Quang Truong is probably one of the reson why Pho Hien U19 are playing better match after match in Group A of the 2020 U19 National Championship qualifiers.

While he is only 16, but Quang Truong said he would pursue football until old age. “I hope that football in my hometown of Ben Tre would be better and be more developed. After retiring from football, I will go home and develop the football scene in my hometown with my fellows. ” – Quang Truong said.

Currently, Quang Truong still monitors and supports an older peer in his hometown with a community football center. “He will shoot videos for us to watch and comment on the goalkeeper – the position that I am being trained in. Every time I go back to my hometown, I go to the center to train, study and support the people at the same time. ”

We all hope and wish for Quang Truong to achieve the goals he set in the future.

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