Nam Định FC
Name of Ground : Sân vận động Thiên Trường
Capacity : 20,000 (18,000 seats)
Address : Vị Hoàng, TP. Nam Định, Nam Định Website : www.facebook.com/namdinhvleague/
Based in the city of Nam Định, the club is considered to be one of the more traditional clubs in Vietnam. It's supporters are most definitely one of the most passionate along side those of northern neighbours Hải Phòng FC. Occasionally this passion has crossed the line and toward the end of the 2019 Season resulted in fans being banned from attending the club's last two away games.
The ground, SVĐ Thiên Trường is sometimes referred to locally as 'The Theater of Dreams' was once known as the 'Last Pagoda Stadium'. It is true that once the crowd gets behind the team, the noise can be intimidating.
The club itself has changed its name several times, as is the way in Vietnamese football, due to sponsorship deals. Its current name, the rather catchy Câu lạc bộ Bóng đá Dược Nam Hà Nam Định is dueto the sponsorship of the local pharmaceutical company Nam Ha. Hence the title (in English) of Nam Hà Nam Định Pharmaceutical Football Club.
1965 the club is officially established under the name of Nam Hà Youth. At this time Nam Hà, Hà Nam and Nam Định provinces were joined as one.
1978 club is renamed Hà Nam Ninh Industry.
1981 the club is promoted to A1 Division which is the highest league at the time.
1985 Hà Nam Ninh Industry win the A1 Championship.
1989 the club is dissolved and re-established as Nam Định in 1991.
The late 1990's saw the club complete in the highest league (National First Division) for the first time finishing 8th in 1997.
August 22nd 2003 and the club is renamed as Sông Đà-Nam Định. The stadium is also renamed from Chùa Cuối (End Pagoda) to its current name Thiên Trường.
2006 and yet another name change. This time to Mikado-Nam Định.
2007 and yes, another name change. Another catchy title of Đạm Phú Mỹ-Nam Định. On the pitch, the club were to win the National Cup defeating Bình Đinh in the final.
Three more name changes were to follow as the club seemed more interested in keeping the local sign making companies in business rather than football.
2010 and the club is relegated from the top division after winning only three games out of twenty six (P26 W3 D3 L20)
2011 and another relegation. This time to the 2nd Division (Third Tier of Vietnamese football) where they were to spend the next few years.
2014 and the club was on the way up. After defeating Vĩnh Long 4-0 at the Sân vận động Tam Kỳ-Quảng Nam the club was promoted to V-League 2.
2017 and Nam Định FC are promoted to V-League 1 as V-League 2 Champions.
How to Get To The SVĐ Thiên Trường
The distance between HCM and Nam Định is 1,656 km making the journey an extremely long one in terms of road or rail transport.
Plane - There are no flights between HCM and Nam Định. The closest airport is Nội Bài International Airport Hà Nội with flying time approximately 1 hour and 55 minutes. All the major airlines fly to here. There are now direct buses from the airport to Nam Định city centre which can be found outside of the arrivals hall. The trip will take approximately 2 hours. Cost is about đ100k.
Train - There are five direct trains between HCM and Nam Định. Trains to Nam Định take approximately 31 hours. Trains leave from Sài Gòn Railway Station which is located in District 3 and arrive at Nam Định Station which is at Trần Đăng Ninh, TP. Nam Định. Due to the journey time, plan ahead if you decide to take this option. Ticket prices vary depending on train and accommodation option but expect to pay at least đ1,000,000 for a one-way ticket.
The train options are as follows:
SE2 Depart HCM 21:55 Arrive Nam Định 03:52 (Day 2)
SE4 Depart HCM 19:25 Arrive Nam Định 03:05 (Day 2)
SE6 Depart HCM 08:45 Arrive Nam Định 17:30 (Next Day)
SE8 Depart HCM 06:00 Arrive Nam Định 14:11 (Next Day)
SE10 Depart HCM 14:30 Arrive Nam Định 01:30 (Day 2)
Details and bookings can be made from the Vietnam Railways Website by following this link.
Bus - There are a selection of direct coach services between HCM and Nam Định. One operator is Hoàng Long Asia. Details and bookings can be made by following this link. Coaches leave Miền Đông Station which is located at : 292 Đinh Bộ Lĩnh, Phường 26, Quận Bình Thạnh and arrive into Nam Định at the following address, 428 Quốc lộ 10, Phường Thống Nhất, Thành phố Nam Định. The journey takes approximately 35 hours so is best avoided unless you like buses. The cost can vary but expect to pay around the đ800k mark.
Supporters Club - Due to the distances involved, it is very unlikely that the Supporters Club will be running any buses to this venue. However, any details can be found on their facebook page by following this link. Details will also be posted here when (if) available.