Vietnam's field hockey team will make history when, for the first time, it competes at the 27th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games 27) during this week's first international tournament.

The sport, which has been played in Vietnam for about 10 years but has not become popular, also marks its return to the regional biennial tournament after eight years, since last being played during the Games in 2005 in Manila, the Philippines.

Although field hockey is a newcomer at the SEA Games, and all members are not professional athletes, the Vietnamese set a target of winning a bronze medal during their debut competition in Myanmar.

"We have always dreamed that one day we could wear the national jersey. Now it comes true, surprisingly. I and my teammates all know our responsibilities when representing Viet Nam in this regional competition. We will try our best to write a story," said Huynh Dai Phuc, one of the most experienced players on the team.

"We hope that through these games, field hockey will be more widely popularised in our country, and more people will come and the sport will develop strongly," said the coach assistant.

The 17-member team will depart on December 11 and meet the Singapore team in their first match at Thein Phyu Stadium in Yangon city.

At the 27th SEA Games there are five teams competing in the men's tournament and six in the women's (Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Myanmar).-VNA