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Hiddink`s Squad Tested

Posted May. 30, 2001 08:52,   


The `Hiddink`s squad launches its voyage toward the 2002 World Cup in the opening game at the 2001 Confederation Cup.

Guus Hiddink, who was named as the head coach in the beginning of this year, has prepared for this voyage during the past five months. He has used this period to select the talented players, to analyze the weaknesses of the Korean team, and to establish the fundamental measures to lead the team.

Head Coach Hiddink has selected the competitive players through the Hong Kong Carlsberg Cup, the Dubai International Competition, the LG Cup in Cairo, and outlined the `best 11`. He grasped the chronic problems of the Korean team. Now his only task is to launch his squad toward the second round of the World Cup.

Hiddink has matched the young players with the veteran players in order to form the best team. According to his basic principle to employ the players with physical strength rather than the star players, he selected the young players as the starting members, such as Seol Ki-Hyun (22, Belgium Antwerp), Park Ji-Sung (20, Japan Kyoto Purple Sanga), etc.

`Harum-scarum` Ko Jong-Su (23, Suwon Samsung) has settled down as a fixed left wing, suiting himself to the Hiddink`s style.

And Hiddink has tried to maintain the balance of the team, including in the team the veteral players such as Hwang Son-Hong (33, Kashiwa Reysol), Hong Myong-Bo (32, Kshiwa Reysol), Ha Seok-Ju (33, Pohang Steelers), and Kim Do-Hoon (31, Chonbuk Hyundai Motors). The experiences of the veterans would be indispensable in the big game.

Hence, if An Jung-Hwan (25, Italy Peruza) and Lee Dong-Gook (22, Germany Bremen) join the team, the Korean team can equip the competitive edge in the international stage, the experts analyzed.

Hiddink finished the analysis of the Korean team`s chronic problems. He concluded that the Korean soccer is `the frog in the well`. ``The Korean team has been crushed in games with the stronger teams because it lacks confidence keeping the Korean team No. 1 only in Asia. But if the Korean team regains the confidence through the games with the stronger teams, it will change. Therefore, I will solve the problem through the matches with the highly-regarded teams leading up to the 2002 World Cup,`` said he.

Yang Jong-Koo yjongk@donga.com