The ongoing National U.21 competition in Gia Lai Province is still very exciting thanks to the shining performance of some up-and-coming stars.
Dong Nai has introduced a well-rounded team at the 14th annual youth competition, sponsored by Thanh Nien. The balanced squad advanced to the semifinals ahead of powerhouse Nghe An and reigning champions Da Nang.
Apart from familiar favorites-Captain Duc Nhan and midfielder Huu Phat, crowds and enthusiasts have been wowed by the debut performances of goalkeeper Thanh Diep, midfielder The Hung and striker Nguyen Tuan Anh.
It was Tuan Anh who scored the only goal in the team's defeat of Nghe An during the opening match of this year's contest.
Hosts Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) is another team that has also managed to impress.
"We consider these players the future substitutes for HAGL's first team," said HAGL coach Nguyen Quoc Tuan. "For this reason, HAGL's U.21 s have been specially trained."
HAGL's new names like Ut Cuong, Duy Thanh and Xuan Hieu helped the Central Highland squad finish at the top of Group A.
As usual, youth training centers Nghe An and Da Nang have come out with some new young talent. However, Vietnamese football enthusiasts should be jazzed about this year's promising new crop across the board.
Strong clubs in Vietnam's top-tier V-League are beginning to pay attention to training young players to substitute the veterans. Thanh Nien's U.21 contest has offered an excellent proving ground for the nation's next generation of football stars.
Thanh Nien newspaper, launched the annual event 14 years ago. Since then, the appearance of more youth training centers has helped to improve the quality of play at the competition and throughout the country.