The target is obvious and for Vietnam U22 head coach Philippe Troussier, the goal is to defend the gold medal in men’s football at the SEA Games 2023 next month.
Cambodia will be hosting the 32nd edition of the SEA Games on 5-17 May 2023 although men’s football will start earlier on 29 April 2023.
“The goal of the Vietnam U22 team is to defend the (men’s football) championship at the 32nd SEA Games,” said Troussier.
The Vietnam U22 team started their final phase of preparation yesterday at the Ba Ria Vung Tau Stadium which provided similar weather conditions as it is in Phnom Penh.
For the SEA Games, Vietnam have been placed in Group B against Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Laos.
“All our opponents are familiar with the competition in Southeast Asia. They will have their own ambitions, and may even aim for the championship. No match will be easy. Thailand is still the strongest team. However, we have analysed ourselves and the goal is to defend the championship,” added Troussier.
“In the past three weeks, about 80-90% of the players from the Vietnam U22 have played in the V.League. This is very important for the preparation for the SEA Games.
“I appreciate the versatility of the players. To reach the final (game of the SEA Games), we will have to go through five matches, not to mention too having to take into account suspensions and injuries. Therefore, calculating how to fit the players will be very important. I try to create as many tests as possible so that the players can play as many positions as possible. So far I am satisfied with the unity and discipline of the whole team.”
For the record, Vietnam won the gold medal at the last two editions of the men’s football event in 2019 (Philippines) and 2021 (Vietnam).