Young soccer players clapped and cheered at the beautiful kick of Johannes Bonfrere, manager of the Korean national soccer team.
On April 8 at Suwon Sports Complex, the opening game was held between Changdong and Sinbanghak elementary schools for the 2005 Dongwon Cup National Youth Soccer League. (Jointly hosted by the Korea Football Association and the Dongwon Yookyoung Educational Foundation. Sponsored by Dong-A Ilbo, Dongwon F&B and Dongwon Securities)
Bonfrere, who opened the match with the first ball, seemed quite pleased all day to watch the game played by young players who are considered the "future of Korean soccer." During the commemoration photographing session, he encouraged the players by patting them on the back.
"What matters right now is the excitement of playing soccer. There comes an opportunity when you enjoy soccer, and it is never too late for you to become professional soccer players," advised Bonfrere.
"In the Netherlands, all professional soccer teams foster their own youth teams. They bring young players to training courses after class and send them back home after training. It is high time that Korea should also adopt a system where professional soccer teams train young players in a well-organized manner."
Kim Hee-soo, the captain of Sinbanghak Elementary School which had a 3-2 victory in the opening match, says with a big smile, "This was the first time that I met Mr. Bonfrere in person, and I found him so handsome. He is a very good kicker, as well. I would like to be a prominent player and a famous manager in the future." In the following match, Junggye Elementary School defeated Wooi Elementary School 4-0.
Jang Won-jik, vice-president of the Korea Football Association; Park In-gu, president of Dongwon F&B; Kim Yong-seo, mayor of Suwon; as well as Mr. Bonfrere presented at the opening ceremony on the day