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 By Paul Murphy

Kiatisuk meets with Vietnam officials, linked to vacant head coaching job

Ex-Thailand boss Kiatisuk Senamuang is struggling since taking charge of Port FC.

Former Thailand head coach Kiatisuk "Zico" Senumuang has again been linked with the vacant position of Vietnam head coach after meeting officials from the country at the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) conference in Indonesia.

Kiatisuk quit his role at Thai League (T1) club Port FC on Wednesday after just one win his 10 T1 games in charge. This was the Thailand legend's second resignation in six months, having stepped down as head coach of the national team in April.

After lasting less than three months at Port FC, Kiatisuk was immediately rumoured to be considering a return to international football, with the Golden Stars still searching for a new boss.

As officials from the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) were also present at the meeting in Bali, it was thought that they would at least sound Kiatisuk out about the possibility of a move to one of Thailand's key regional rivals.

Kiatisuk Senumuang played four years for Vietnamese side Hoang Anh Gia Lai.

The meeting of the AFF culminates in an awards ceremony and the two-time AFF Cup winner was one of the nominees for the Coach of the Year award.

Reports on Vietnam's Zing.Vn news network claimed that the 44-year-old had said he was looking forward to talking to the VFF officials at the regional meeting.

Zico has close links with Vietnam, having played with Hoang Anh Gia Lai for four years at the end of his playing career, before having two spells as their head coach.

While he had previously suggested it might be hard for him to take charge of another ASEAN country and play against his homeland, Vietnam might be the one country that could tempt him.

When Malaysia were looking for a new head coach earlier this year, there were also rumours that Zico could be a target, though this ultimately came to nothing.

Things should become clearer after Kiatisuk has had a chance to talk to the VFF In Indonesia. A report on Thai TV channel PPTV HD 36 suggested Kiatisuk would be ready to answer questions about his future next week, following his return from Indonesia.

In Bali, Kiatisuk was named AFF coach of the year, while his former player Chanathip Songkrasin won the AFF player of the year award after Thailand's success at last December's Suzuki Cup.

Paul Murphy has lived in Thailand for nine years, contributing to ESPN FC since 2014. He is a former Daily Express (UK) sub-editor. @PaulMurphyBKK

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