World of Football

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Joint partnrship between English and Vietnamese Clubs

crest.jpgThe Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) Football Club broke ground yesterday for an international football academy in the central highlands province of Gia Lai in collaboration with the English club Arsenal.

The club’s president Doan Nguyen Duc told that US$4 million would be spent developing the HAGL-Arsenal-JMG academy, which will be up and running in six months’ time.

The five-hectare academy, around 10 kilometers from Pleiku City, will have two training grounds, 30 twin rooms for trainees, coaches and experts, as well as dining rooms and a health club.

Duc said that recruitment would start in April for youths in Vietnam and elsewhere in the world. The first training courses are scheduled to begin in September this year and the selected candidates will be trained free-of-charge.

“Arsenal experts will select 16 candidates among some 10,000 applicants for training in line with the standards of the English club at the academy,” Duc said. He added the candidates would be taught academics and English before they became professionals.

Duc revealed that Arsenal experts said that the players trained at the academy would be able to join Vietnam’s national football squad for international games.

Keith Edelman, managing director of the Arsenal Football Club, told reporters after the ground-breaking ceremony that the academy would train talent for playing in Europe so they would be qualified for the Vietnam team. He expected some 70% of the footballers trained at the HAGL-Arsenal-JMG academy would be for the team.

“I believe the academy was a very important development for the future of football in Vietnam and we are confident we will produce some world football stars of the future and also future Arsenal football club players,” Edelman said.

He explained that Arsenal was encouraged by the HAGL Football Club’s president Duc’s strategic vision in partnering with the English Club and JMG in the development, but it would be several years before this project yielded the results. “We all want to achieve and we are impressed with Mr. Duc’s foresight in joining with us in this venture.”

Edelman strongly believes that the HAGL-Arsenal-JMG academy will be successful.

Explaining the decision to opt for Arsenal, Duc said that with a famous training system in England as well as in developing nations, Arsenal would help HAGL train players.

The academy is part of the strategic cooperation agreement HAGL Corporation will sign with Arsenal today in HCMC. Duc said it took his company six months to talk with the English club before the two sides could ink it.

The agreement is outlined in HAGL Corporation’s strategy to expand the presence of its football club and business activities in Europe after achievements in Vietnam and other parts in Southeast Asia.


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