Promising fullback Van Hau on loan at Dutch top division’s SC Heerenveen

Tuesday, 2019-09-03 09:30:55
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Van Hau officially makes history for Vietnamese football as the first Vietnamese player to play in the Dutch top division Eredivisie. (Photo: SC Heerenveen)
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NDO – Vietnamese international Doan Van Hau has officially joined Dutch top division team SC Heerenveen on loan from Hanoi FC for one season, with a buyout clause also included, announced the Dutch side on September 2.

>>> Vietnam’s squad leave for Group G opener against hosts Thailand

The 20-year-old defender will take the No. 15 shirt in his new team, officially becoming the first Vietnamese player to be featured in the Dutch top flight.

On Monday evening (Vietnam time), after passing a medical at the Friesland club, Van Hau officially made his debut for the side playing in the Dutch top division Eredivisie - one of the top leagues in Europe.

According to an announcement from Hanoi FC, the representatives of SC Heerenveen and Hanoi FC have been working on talks over the past two months. “The key is that the Dutch club will be committed to creating the best conditions for Van Hau to go onto the football field since SC Heerenveen has watched the defender very closely for Hanoi FC for a long period of time. SC Heerenveen is confident that the left-back is qualified to meet the requirements of playing football in the Netherlands League,” the statement said.

This shows that Heerenveen is completely serious in the loan of Van Hau. In an article introducing their new man, the Dutch team highly praised the 20-year-old Thai Binh province’s native, saying that the left-back can play both as a centre-back and a full-back. Heerenveen's technical director Gerry Hamstra also made positive comments about Van Hau: “We are proud that we can add Doan [Van Hau] to our squad… We have looked at him extensively, talked personally and have thereby been convinced of his qualities. That is why we have negotiated an option to purchase in the deal so that a longer stay is also possible.”

Compared with Cong Phuong’s loan to Belgium side Sint-Truidense or even some other Southeast Asian footballers playing abroad, Van Hau's loan to the Dutch top division - one of the leading leagues in Europe is much more prominent. (Photo: SC Heerenveen)

Considered to be the most promising star of Vietnamese football in recent years, Van Hau can play well both as a centre-back and a full-back, capable of supporting attacks on the wing and launching long-range shots with good accuracy. With an ideal height of 1.85m, good expertise and stable form, the 1999-born talent was soon confirmed when Van Hau was promoted to the first team at Hanoi FC at the young age of 18 years old. At the same time, he has quickly become an indispensable factor of the national teams in both junior and senior levels.

Being aware of expectations from home fans, during the debut ceremony for SC Heerenveen, Van Hau said: "I feel very happy and lucky to be here. I consider this a big progress in my career. I will try my best to practice and learn from my teammates, as well as following the coach’s guidance to make the best for the club. Hopefully, everyone will always support the club and me personally."

Going to the Netherlands to play football, Van Hau said that it is an honour and also an opportunity for Dutch fans and international friends to understand more about Vietnamese football, culture and people. "I am thinking about how fabulous it is to play in the Dutch top division. It is my personal honour. The Vietnamese fans and my families are always proud of me. I will try my best to not to make them disappointed. I hope the world will know more about Vietnam, Vietnamese football players and Vietnamese culture," said the 20-year-old international.

Van Hau will take the No. 15 shirt at SC Heerenveen. (Photo: SC Heerenveen)

Although not fully recovered from an injury, Van Hau is still considered as one of the important player of the Vietnamese national squad. He is on preparation with his teammates for their opening match against Thailand under the 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers second round campaign on Thursday. However, the Vietnam Football Federation and head coach Park Hang-seo agreed that the team would allow the fullback to temporarily leave the team to go to the Netherlands for medical tests, as well as carrying out procedures to sign a contract with SC Heerenveen before the European transfer window shut. This is a very good opportunity for Van Hau to improve his capacity, thereby contributing to promoting the image of Vietnamese football and making a more positive contribution to the national team in the future.

It is reported that Hanoi FC and SC Heerenveen have agreed to create the best conditions for Van Hau to serve Vietnam U22s to play at the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in the Philippines later this year. It is a good news for coach Park as men’s football at the 30th SEA Games is not part of the FIFA’s system tournament, so the host clubs are not responsible to release their players to serve the national teams. As an indispensable factor in the squad, the lack of Van Hau will significantly affect the ultimate goal of winning the first ever SEA Games Gold Medal for Vietnamese football.

As scheduled, after completing the necessary procedures in the Netherlands, Van Hau will return to Thailand to gather with the Vietnamese team today. After playing the hosts in the Group G opener of the FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers second round on Thursday, Van Hau will return to Vietnam to prepare the necessary procedures and then fly to the Netherlands to start training for Heerenveen. If all goes well, Hau could play in his new club’s next match in the Eredivisie sixth matchday against defending champions Ajax on September 14.

TRUNG HUNG