Go to contents

Hong Myung-bo Joins Advocaat’s Coaching Staff

Posted September. 27, 2005 05:56,   


“Myung-bo! We can do it again!”

“I think Hwang Sun-hong is more qualified and experienced as a coach than I am…”

Hong Myung-bo, also known as the eternal big brother of the Korean national soccer team, has his name on the list of the coaching staff of South Korea`s new head coach Dick Advocaat in preparation for the 2006 World Cup in Germany. Hong has been working as the director of the Korea Football Association (KFA).

Kang Shin-woo, vice chairman of the KFA’s technical committee, said on September 26 that the association appointed Hong as a coach assisting the new head coach from the Netherlands. “Advocaat first requested Hong in his e-mail. Since the committee believed matters regarding the appointment would be better for the head coach to decide, we decided to follow Advocaat’s opinion,” said Kang.

According to a source close to Hong, Advocaat’s assistant Pim Verbeek (48) had strongly recommended Hong because Verbeek was deeply impressed by Hong’s leadership and the younger players’ admiration of him during the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup. Verbeek is also known to have personally contacted Hong to persuade him to join after Verbeek had decided to sign on.

Hong, however, was known to have humbly turned down the suggestion, saying that Hwang Sun-hong is more qualified and experienced as the leader. Advocaat, encouraged by Verbeek’s advice, kept requesting Hong’s presence, and Lee Hoi-Taek, head of the the Korea Football Association (KFA) technical committee, also made efforts to persuade Hong. After that, Hong finally agreed to accept the post, probably thinking that he might be of some help to the future of Korean soccer now in crisis.

Hong, who has been preparing for a leadership course and doctorate degree in Korea, said that he decided to join because he realized that his weakness could be hushed by the great leader, Advocaat, and his assistant coach Verbeek, who is well aware of Korea. “I will do my best, always keeping in mind that I’m still learning,” said Hong.

With Hong joining, Advocaat’s coaching staff, also including Pim Verbeek and Iranian-American football video analyst Afshin Ghotbi (40), is now complete. Advocaat, along with his assistant Verbeek, will arrive in South Korea via the Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM865) on September 29.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com