Graduate from Arsenal-backed academy to play for Japanese club

By Linh Nam - Khanh Chau, Thanh Nien News

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Cong Phuong (R) will play for the national team in World Cup qualifying matches in October before moving to Japan. Photo: Bach Duong Cong Phuong (R) will play for the national team in World Cup qualifying matches in October before moving to Japan. Photo: Bach Duong

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Hoang Anh Gia Lai has agreed to lend its young striker Cong Phuong to Japan club Mito Hollyhock for a year for US$100,000, local media reported.
The 20-year-old striker, who graduated from the Hoang Anh Gia Lai Arsenal JMG Football Academy in Gia Lai Province, will begin to play for the J-League 2 club next year.
Cong Phuong will be paid a monthly salary of about US$3,000, besides insurance and other allowances.
Earlier, Mito Hollyhock’s representatives visited Hoang Anh Gia Lai and invited four players to join the club in Ibaraki Prefecture.
However, the players did not go to Japan due to their V.League schedule.
In a recent visit, Mito Hollyhock’s technical director Mitsushiro Obara said he was really impressed by Cong Phuong.
Vietnam national team’s coach Toshiya Miura used to be a coach of Mito Hollyhock in 1998.
According to Hoang Anh Gia Lai, Cong Phuong will play for Hoang Anh Gia Lai at the Thanh Nien Newspaper Under 21 Football Championships and for the national team at World Cup qualifying matches against Thailand and Iraq, all in October.
Earlier, Cong Vinh, the famed striker of V.League and National Cup champion Becamex Binh Duong, was the first Vietnamese footballer to play at J-League 2.
Playing for Consadole Sapporo from July to December 2013, Cong Vinh scored four goals in 11 matches. He was also voted among the five best Southeast Asian players in Japan.

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