Ryan Giggs helping Vietnam’s quest for World Cup qualification
Wales manager Ryan Giggs is trying to shape the footballing landscape in both his homeland and Vietnam.
The 44-year-old was quick to target qualification for the European Championship following his appointment as Chris Coleman's successor last month.
And as if the chance to lead Wales to just their second major tournament since 1958 was not enough, Giggs' influence could also help Vietnam reach their first World Cup one day.
The former Manchester United winger is director of football of the PVF Academy, which is funded by the Vingroup and aimed at producing young players that will go on to play for the national sides.
Giggs was at the state-of-the-art PVF Academy's opening in November along with fellow United great Paul Scholes, and the Wales boss returned to Hanoi last week to take some coaching sessions.
Mike Farnan, chief executive of operators Redstrike and Football Focus Asia, told Press Association Sport: "Ryan Giggs described the facility as better than United's training ground Carrington – and probably one of the leading academies he's ever been in.
"It is mind-blowing what you see. The accommodation for the kids is unbelievable. They're targeting to bring in 300 kids. The vision is 2030 qualification for the World Cup.
"Director of football is Ryan's title. He's come away quite enthused about it."
Giggs is committed to making three visits in each of the next two years and was left under no illusion about his standing in Asia on his first official visit.
"We got to the airport and you have 8,000 or 9,000 waiting to see previous players," said Farnan, who worked with Giggs and other members of the Class of 92 during the 90s and early 2000s in his role as managing director of Manchester United's international arm. "It's crazy."
While Giggs is the headline name, Leicester's former director of football Terry Robinson is leading a strong full-time team on the ground in Vietnam as technical director.
Cardiff assistant Kevin Blackwell was heavily involved in the PVF Academy's set-up in Hanoi, where football pitches are complemented by a sport science centre, swimming pool and hotel spread across a 60-acre site built in just eight months.
It is an academy model Farnan is hoping to replicate and take to other countries.
"From my own point of view, it is a model we're going to be rolling out in other parts of the world," he said.
"We're in talks with Malta, the Jordanian FA, the Lithuanian FA about similar type programmes, so there's a gap in the market for non-club associated academies.
"We're involved in setting up the scouting systems and have written a 700-page blueprint from national team down to the Under-9s.
"A lot of our staff now are working with the national team as well, which is again proof that we are in an area where we feel we can help not just at the grassroots but the senior team."
Giggs has his own national team matters to look after, but his impact in Vietnam looks set to continue.
"I was with him last week and we are progressing well with him and the development of the academy," Farnan added.
"They love him out there. He is a genuine leader. Wales have a good manager and PVF have a great director of football."