Meet The 5 Football Prodigies from Vietnam
We are gearing up for the upcoming Toyota International Junior Cup 2017 in Japan! The final 18 graduates of the Toyota Junior Football Clinic & Camp in Vietnam have jetted off to Nagoya to compete against their peers from Japan and Thailand.
Having gone through two different phases of the Clinic & Camp – the football clinic and training camp – it was a fulfilling experience for all of them, both on and off the pitch.
We managed to catch up with five of the young players before they took off to Japan to find out more about these football prodigies.
1. Nguyen Viet Quang (Goalkeeper)
12-year-old Quang hails from the province of Dong Nai and plays as a goalkeeper on the field. He started playing football at an early age. “My parents introduced me to the game when I was nine, and I started playing it since then.”
As a goalkeeper, Quang’s commanding height helps give him an unmistakable presence in front of goal. He’s known for being agile and alert in intercepting shots from opposing attackers.
We asked Quang what he had learned from the clinic and training camp. “Discipline and solidarity,” he said. These two traits are undoubtedly important characteristics that a goalkeeper has to have on the field.
2. Bui Quang Khai (Right Midfielder)
The football training camp is a challenge for most of the youths who had to be away from their family for a whole week. For midfielder Khai, being distant from his family of seven who are back in Thanh Hoa had impacted him positively.
“Besides football, the training camp taught me to be more disciplined and equipped me with living skills.” He also mentioned that it was a great opportunity for him to bond with peers from other provinces that he wouldn’t have met if not for the training camp.
For the 12-year-old who learnt football from his father at the age of eight, his inspiration on the football field had to be Nguyen Quang Hai whom he admires for his “great football drills and resilience”.
3. Nguyen Ky Son (Centre Midfielder)
Similar to Khai, Son’s father introduced him to football when he was eight. He loves playing in centre midfield because he can distribute the ball to the other players and build up play from that position. It’s amazing to see such maturity in the game for someone as young as this 12-year-old.
It’s no wonder his favourite football player is young national player Xuan Truong who presently plays in the K-League club Gangwon FC and is known for his vision and pinpoint accuracy. “I like Xuan Truong for his accuracy in passing the ball to his teammates, and that is something I aim to achieve in my own gameplay!”, said Son.
The training camp also exposed Son to other experiences. “I also studied basic Japanese during my stay,” the bubbly boy continued. “The classes were very fun and I always love learning new things!”
4. Huynh Kim Huy (Centre Midfielder)
After participating in the selection round in Da Nang, Huy was cherry-picked by the coaches for the clinic and training camp. With his tall frame, he is known for being a midfield general each time he’s out on the pitch, commanding the play around him.
Football aside, the training camp was a fun experience for the young midfielder. “I enjoyed the flashmob dance and the Japanese lessons, they were so interesting! I can’t wait for the trip to Japan to put everything that I have learnt into practice!”
From the time he started playing football at 8 years of age, Huy has remained inspired by local veteran player Le Cong Vinh to perform better each time he’s on the field. “I admire Le Cong Vinh because of his great football drills,” he explained with great enthusiasm.
5. Bui Quoc Thanh Tung (Defender)
It’s not common to find a kid who chooses to play in the backline instead of the glory of playing as an attacker. But 12-year-old Tung has his own reasons.
“Playing as a defender is my strength. I would like to pass the ball to the attacker from the back to score a goal.” He looks up to national team player Van Toan for his “good speed and football drills.”.
For Tung, discipline is the biggest trait he has developed while attending the clinic and training camp. “On top of that, I also had the chance to bond with other young players like me!” he exclaimed.
With so much collective potential between these five young players, the future of Vietnam’s football is bright and we’re all geared up to see where the Toyota Mekong Football Challenge journey takes them to.