Contributed by: Aaron Richard Thursday, June 02 2005 @ 02:14 am ACST
The Melbourne-based Vietnamese side who competed at the last two Multicultural Cups are headed for Japan to compete in the 2005 Narita Cup.
The Narita Cup is Japan's largest international club championships, held at the Narita Radisson Hotel fields in Tokyo, Japan. Previous years have seen teams from across Asia and even Melbourne suburban side Box Hill North take part.
This year will see the Vietnamese make their first appearance at the cup - also their first outside Melbourne. Included in the side is 16-year-old Nam Chau, who was interviewed by Melbourne newspaper the Herald Sun[*1] . Currently playing for VAFA side Box Hill North, Nam has made a name for himself as a rover and told the Herald Sun he was proud to represent his country. "Growing up and playing a sport that doesn't belong to Vietnamese culture is very different".
The Melbourne Vietnamese side were planning to make an appearance at the 2005 Arafura Games in Darwin, but were a late withdrawal. Last year they also made an appearance against the touring Japanese team, going down to the Samurai by around 8 goals.
With two Australian expat-based clubs currently functioning in Vietnam, there is some potential for the game to be re-exported back to the South-east Asian nation, as discussed in a previous article[*2] .