Vietnamese football squad signs Korean coach

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Vietnamese football squad signs Korean coach

The Vietnamese national football team’s new head coach, Park Hang-seo, a native of Korea, vowed on Wednesday to make his team the best among teams in Southeast Asia.

Park signed a contract with the Vietnam Football Federation in Hanoi to lead its men’s national team until 2020. The Vietnamese media reported that Park would receive an annual salary between $240,000 and $260,000.

“I will give all of my knowledge, philosophy and passion to Vietnam, which selected me,” Park said at a press conference. “I pursue football where players can move as one unit and maximize organized plays. I will try to improve the team’s speed and ball possession.”

Park will fill the void left by Nguyen Huu Thang, who departed in August. His first mission will be leading Vietnam, currently 130th in the latest FIFA rankings, to qualify for the 2019 Asian Football Confederation cup.

“I want to put Vietnam at the top in Southeast Asia and then in Asia,” he said. “During my tenure, I want to improve Vietnam’s FIFA ranking to somewhere around 100. Based on what we saw from Korea at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, this isn’t an impossible task.”

Park will make his coaching debut with the team on Nov. 14 when they take on Afghanistan.

Park is best known for his role as Guus Hiddink’s assistant when Hiddink was leading the Korean national team in 2002 and helped them finish fourth in the FIFA World Cup that year. He later managed pro Korean clubs like Gyeongnam FC, the Jeonnam Dragons and Sangju Sangmu.

Park was head coach of Changwon City FC in the third-tier National League before signing with Vietnam.

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