Arsenal Academy officials check HAGL Vietnam

Representatives of English Premier league club Arsenal paid a fact-finding visit to the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai and had a working session with officials of the local V-League club Hoang Anh Gia Lai. Director Robert Procureur and Coach Christophe Larrouilh from the Arsenal Football Academy Thailand reportedly requested HAGL speed up its preparations in constructing a footballing school in the province. “Our trip here is to survey the HAGL club and discuss tighter cooperation relations,” said Robert Procureur, as quoted by Thanh Nien News. “Our target is to launch more football institutes in many other places beside the one in Thailand.”

The project is estimated to cost US$4.5 million including over US$3 million for construction and the first training course. Vietnam News Agency reported the two clubs "plan to run three training courses within seven years. Arsenal will select about 60 young footballers aged 11-12 across Vietnam as from the summer of 2007 for the courses."


Robert Procureur said the Arsenal–HAGL academy will officially go into operation early next month. Arsenal will send experts to Vietnam to recruit 20 youths aged from 11-12 years. The youngsters will follow training in a seven-year curriculum at the academy to be built in Gia Lai, instead of in Ho Chi Minh City as earlier planned.

“With 300 hectares of land and perfect climate here, HAGL has perfect conditions to set up the academy,” confirmed the English leader to Thanh Nien News. “With years of training experience in Ivory Coast, Egypt, and Thailand, you can bet that in seven years, all students of the academy will wear Vietnamese national team jerseys. We hope to send two or three of them to play in European leagues after seven more years,” he said.

HAGL president Doan Nguyen Duc pledged he will urgently build two new stadiums and other living facilities to receive learners as of next April.