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Kim Byeong-Ji – Lee Woon-Jae in Special Tutoring

Posted April. 16, 2002 09:17,   


`War between The Two`.

The Korean national soccer team had no official training schedule on the 15th. But Kim Byeong-Ji (32. Pohang) and Lee Woon-Jae (29. Suwon), who are competing for goalkeeper start-ups, had to visit Suseong Stadium in full kit of uniforms and even gloves. Coach Guus Hiddink ordered supplementary training, because he believed training on the previous day was not enough.

The two had to roll on the ground restlessly under the commands of exclusive goalkeeper-coach Kim Hyun-Tae and assistant coach Choi Jin-Han.

Especially, the day’s training was the first one between only the two since they joined the national team. As the special training session went on for more than an hour by Hiddink’s special order, there was an invisible nerve war between Korea’s two goalkeepers.

In the session where they had to block shootings of coaches Kim and Choi, Kim blocked 2 and walked out of the penalty zone slowly as Lee’s turn came. He consciously tried not to seem sensitive, but his eyes were already on Lee’s movements.

Lee also carefully watched Kim’s training scenes to find something to learn. The two were conscious of each other, and whenever mistakes were made, they tried their best to redeem.

After the training on the day, Kim said, “I shall work for my weaknesses and show the best I have in the World Cup.” Lee also said, “The most important thing is not to get hurt until the World Cup. I’ll have to work hard to get good results.”

“The two look very different at training sessions. I can feel the competition, where if one does better, the other tries harder to catch up,” said coach Kim Hyun-Tae.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com