LPBank Hoang Anh Gia Lai head coach Kiatisuk Senamuang is set to leave his post to take over at defending V.League 1 champions Cong An Ha Noi FC, according to reports from VNExpress.
“Coach Kiatisuk will get to work as soon as possible,” said a high-ranking member of the CAHN management, as quoted from VNExpress, “Kiatisuk wants to coach a big club with ambition, so we recruited him, to help the club maintain on top of V.League 1 and reach out to Asia.”
Currently in his native Thailand, Coach Zico – Kiatisuk’s nickname – is anticipated to travel to Hanoi within the week to finalize a contract with CAHN.
An initial agreement had been reached with former Thailand national coach Alexandre “Mano” Polking on January 5th, but the deal fell through due to disagreements on salary and objectives. Mano’s coaching abilities were also scrutinized following his lack of success in the V.League with Ho Chi Minh City FC, though the Brazilian had rebuilt his stock following a successful tenure with the Thailand national team, which ended in his ousting following the decision made by the Thai football authorities to install Masatada Ishii as the Changsuek‘s new gaffer.
Coach Zico, a revered figure in Thai football, secured V. League titles with HAGL in 2003 and 2004 as a player. Returning as the club’s head coach in 2020, he led HAGL to the top of the V.League 1 after 12 rounds in the first season, though the league was later canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Subsequently, HAGL struggled, finishing eighth in the 2022 season, battling relegation in 2023, and currently occupying the last position this season with only five points after eight matches. Coach Zico attributed the poor results to the club’s owner not investing much in new players, relying instead on young, raw talents from their renowned academy.
Joining CAHN, Coach Zico is expected to have a stronger squad, with the defending league champions boasting national team players like Filip Nguyen, Doan Van Hau, Bui Hoang Viet Anh, Phan Van Duc, Ho Tan Tai, and Nguyen Quang Hai.
Coach Zico will have over a month to acclimate to his new role, as the V.League 1 is currently taking a break for the Vietnam national football team’s participation in the 2024 AFC Asian Cup until February 18th. CAHN is hopeful that with Coach Zico, the team will conclude a prolonged search for a suitable coach. Despite recruiting Gong Oh-kyun, formerly Shin Tae-yong’s right-hand man at the Indonesia national team, as their new head coach, the Policemen went on a four-game winless streak, that led to his dismissal. Technical director Tran Tien Dai took charge as caretaker, however he’s currently serving a three-match ban for his remonstrations towards the referee.