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From Pitches in Asia – Report from JFA Coaches/Instructors Vol. 84: KOSHIDA Takeshi, Technical Director of the Vietnam Football Federation

22 December 2023

From Pitches in Asia – Report from JFA Coaches/Instructors Vol. 84: KOSHIDA Takeshi, Technical Director of the Vietnam Football Federation

Xin chao (“hello” in Vietnamese). My name is KOSHIDA Takeshi, and I have been dispatched to Vietnam as Technical Director (TD) of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) since June 2023.

In Japan, I worked as a manager of Hokuriku University Football Club in Kanazawa, Ishikawa, and as a JFA tutor for the License Class A training courses, through which I contributed to the development of Japanese football. At the age of 63, I came to Vietnam this year as a new challenge for myself.

1. Coach education projects

My biggest task since being appointed as TD in June has been to educate Vietnamese coaches, and it has been very busy. In the last six months to December, we have completed a year's worth of VFF's coach education projects, completing two C and B license courses each, and one A and Pro license course each.

Over the past six months, I have trained with over 100 Vietnamese coaches in a total of six courses and have gradually come to understand the mindset and culture of the Vietnamese people. First of all, many Vietnamese coaches have a lot of respect for the way coaches are educated in Japan. The Japan National Team is now considered one of the top teams in Asia and their willingness to learn the Japanese way of coaching is very evident, making it a very enjoyable and rewarding job to train with the Vietnamese coaches on a daily basis. Although there is a tendency to demand immediate results and a slight reluctance to plan and achieve things in the long term, the people here in Vietnam are very friendly and approachable. I am grateful for all the inspiration and enjoyment I get from working here every day. Our main objective for the coach education projects is to develop VFF coaches and Coach Educators (CEs). From 2024 onwards, we plan to organise these educational courses and focus on producing coaches and CEs who will lead the Vietnamese football community in the future.

2. My role as a VFF TD

Since serving as TD of VFF, I have been working tirelessly every day to fulfil my responsibilities as a new TD.

This year, I had the opportunity to attend an introductory workshop for new TDs organised by FIFA and the AFC. I will continue to learn, plan, implement and work hard for the future development of the VFF.

3. Vietnamese football in the world and in Asia

Vietnam is currently ranked 94th (15th in Asia) in the FIFA men's ranking and 34th (5th in Asia) in the FIFA women's ranking. Although Vietnam is considered a mid-tier country in Asia, the country's main footballing interest is winning the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), a biennial multi-sport event involving participants from countries in Southeast Asia. This year, the men's team, led by former Japan National Team head coach Philippe TROUSSIER, missed out on winning their third consecutive title. Meanwhile, the women's team enjoyed a landmark year, winning their fourth consecutive SEA Games title and their first-ever appearance at the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™. Objectively speaking, other ASEAN countries have also made strides in recent years and continue to raise their standards. The challenge for Vietnam going forward is to develop a workable plan to achieve its long-term goals and to expand its aspirations to a global scale, rather than focusing solely on ASEAN. The current goal is to qualify for the FIFA World Cup™ from 2030 onwards and become one of the top 10 nations in Asia.

4. Finally

I would like to thank Mr. IJIRI Akira, who has been dispatched to Vietnam for the past five years as Head of Women's Football and Head Coach of the Youth Women’s National Teams, and Mr. ADACHI Yusuke, my predecessor as VFF TD, for all their hard work and achievements, which have made my work in Vietnam both enjoyable and inspiring. I will do my best to achieve VFF's main goal of becoming one of the top 10 nations in Asia and qualifying for the FIFA World Cup™. Thank you for your continued support. Xin cam on (“thank you” in Vietnamese).

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