Update: 11:09 | 19/10/2022
As coach Park Hang-seo has decided not to extend his contract with Vietnam's national football team, a few names have been listed to take over the hot seat.
Lee Young-jin is the first name that comes to people's minds. He has been Park's number one assistant since 2017 and won many trophies with the team. Many assistant coaches have come and gone but Lee was there throughout Park's journey with Vietnam.
Assistant coach Lee Young-jin during a training session with the Vietnam national football team during World Cup qualifiers in June 2022.
The head coach called Lee his "brain" many times. With experience accumulated from many years as a player, Lee serves as an important part of the team's training plan, strategy, tactics and major decisions during the game. He's also highly rated by the team itself.
Gong Oh-kyun is another South Korean candidate that can be Park's replacement. He took over the U23 team earlier this year and left a strong impression after leading it to the quarterfinals of the U23 Asian Cup, where Vietnam lost to champions Saudi Arabia.
Gong's football philosophy differs from Park, as he embraces possession and offensive play regardless of the opponent.
Philippe Troussier is also a potential option. The French coach, nicknamed "White Witch Doctor," has international experience as the coach of Ivory Coast, Nigeria, South Africa, Japan and Morocco.
From 2019 to 2021, he came to Vietnam to work at the Promotion Fund of Vietnamese Football Talents (PVF) and coached the U19 Vietnam team. At present, Troussier is a free agent.
Kiatisuk Senamuang can also be considered to fill in Park’s place. He’s a football legend in Southeast Asia and very knowledgeable about Vietnamese football after years of coaching V. League club HAGL. However, recent poor results in V. League might make Kiatisuk lose a few points in the eyes of fans.
At the moment, Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) has no intention of using a domestic coach for the national team. Before Park, many Vietnamese coaches had managed the team but none succeeded.
"It’s normal for coach Park to leave and for VFF to find a replacement. However, we will not reveal the candidates now. Coach Park is still here until next year and we have to respect him," a VFF official told.