Vietnamese volleyball stars may play in Thailand

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Four of Vietnam's top volleyballers are likely to play for clubs in Thailand soon, the Vietnam Volleyball Federation (VVF) has said.

Ngo Van Kieu, Nguyen Huu Ha, Le Quang Khanh and Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hoa have been all been invited to play for clubs in the nearby country.

Kittipong, head coach of Thailand's national female volleyball team, has asked VVF to contact the clubs where the four Vietnamese players currently play.

In a recent meeting with VVF official Tran Van Thu, coach Kittipong said some Vietnamese players were better than Thai players.

The Thai clubs would pay the Vietnamese players at least US$2,000 per month, Kittipong said.

The male Thai club Nakhon Ratchasima wants to have striker Le Quang Khanh of Hoang Long Long An while its female team wants supportive striker Nguyen Thi Ngoc Hoa of Binh Dien Long An.

The Royal Thai Army club has expressed interest in strikers Ngo Van Kieu and Nguyen Huu Ha.

The Vietnamese clubs who manage the players have agreed in principal to let them play abroad because the Thai volleyball championship is in February while the Vietnamese tournament does not start until mid-March.

The matches in Thailand take place only on weekends and the clubs hope to import Thai players to Vietnam as well.

Learning abroad

"VFF strongly encourages local players to play in Thailand," said Tran Van Thu. "They can improve their skills and create a good reputation for local clubs. We strongly support this and believe their clubs will not miss this good opportunity."

Local fans and sports commentators have expected a wave of Vietnamese players to start playing abroad ever since Kieu went to play for Indonesian club Samator last year.

Coach Hoang Dinh Thu of Hoang Long Long An said the Vietnamese club managers had agreed at once when the Thai club made its offer.

"It is good for Khanh and club," he said.

"Khanh is young and it will be good for him to go abroad to learn more. Moreover, Hoang Long Long An will take this chance to find good Thai players to play for our club at the Vietnamese national volleyball championship."

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