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European Soccer Clubs Courting High School Student Kim Dong-hyun

European Soccer Clubs Courting High School Student Kim Dong-hyun

Posted December. 01, 2002 22:57,   


Kim Dong-hyun (Chonggoo High School, photo), a rising soccer star of 18, has emerged as the "target" of scouting by prestigious soccer clubs in Netherlands like PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord Rotterdam.

Yesterday, Kim confirmed, "Each of PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord Rotterdam has recently offered me a test, a preliminary step for scouting." Even Guus Hiddink, who had led the Korean national team up to the semifinal in the last World Cup, visited Kim`s parents and made the same offer to them last month.

So far, most offers have been made to national team members or pro soccer players. Considering the custom, it is an extremely rare occasion for a renowned team to make such an offer to a high school student. This rare event, however, demonstrates how great a potential Kim possesses.

Kim got selected as the MVP of the Asian Youth Cup, which took place in October. In the tournament, he recorded 4 goals and 1 assist, making a great contribution to Korea`s regaining the title of Asia`s champion. Kim stands 185cm, and weighs 80kg. Nonetheless, he runs 100m in less than 12 seconds. In addition, he has excellent techniques and skills of making goals. Furthermore, he is a striker who uses his left leg in making goals, which is hardly found among Korean players.

Kim has confirmed that he would follow whatever Hanyang University advises, a school that he is supposed to enroll in next year. Park Chang-hyun, coach of the university, said, "Kim is still a student now. Going to college comes before anything else. Furthermore, it`s not about signing a contract. It`s just about a test. Therefore, the risk is greater. Let`s take Choi Yong-soo. In 1999, he tried to advance himself into the England League in vain. After he failed to realize his goal, he got really disappointed and suffered a lot of depression for some time. The shock would be greater for Kim, if he fails in the test. He is just a teen now."

The official position of the university is that it would have Kim play in the World Youth Cup scheduled for March of 2003 in the United Arab Emirates. Then, it would determine on a case-by-case basis whether it should send him to a European team.

Kim will join the training session of the Korean national youth team, which is to be held in Namhae from today to 21st of this month.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com