Arsenal-JMG support HAGL's Vietnam Academy

Vietnamese club Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) is to establish the first-ever football academy in the country, with close cooperation from international partners, the club told Thanh Nien newspaper. In a meeting this month with HAGL chairman Doan Nguyen Duc, English Premier League club coach, Arsene Wenger of Arsenal FC, confirmed he would send specialists and supply training methods for HAGL to build the institute. A source from the Vietnamese club said the mutual agreement of cooperation between Arsenal and HAGL will be signed next month.

Recently, the managing director of Thailand’s JMG football academy, Robert Procureur, expressed his wish to cooperate with HAGL in the field. Speaking to a Vietnamese sports journalist, Procureur said he is willing to share experience to HAGL in the initial phase of working. “I hope to have a meeting with Doan Nguyen Duc soon to discuss cooperation with him,” he said.

The JMG Football Thailand Academy, the first independent academy of its kind in Asia, was launched in April 2005 100 km east of Bangkok. The full training cycle for professional football players there lasts seven years. ‘JMG’ stands for Jean-Marc Guillou, a 60-year-old former French international who used to play with Michel Platini and was once considered as one of its generation's best midfielders. Since the very day of laying foundation, Guillou got the official support from his French friend Arsene Wenger, who is going to extend his hands to Vietnam under cooperation with HAGL.

Wenger recently said during an interview at London's Arsenal headquarters that his "support was not about image but was rather motivated by (his) accordance with the humanity and the philosophy of a great project which gives a chance to young players who have a dream." The project's objective, he added, "was also to see if it's true that with the same quality of work, Asian players are as much capable of making a career in Europe where you have a selection of the best players in the world."