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New National Team Coaches Arrive in Korea

Posted September. 30, 2005 08:12,   


Dick Advocaat (58, the Netherlands), the new head coach and appointed savior for the Korean national football team, and Pim Verbeek (48, the Netherlands), a new assistant coach, arrived in Korea on September 29. “Everlasting Libero” Hong Myeong-bo (35), another assistant coach, gladly greeted them at Incheon International Airport.

“Here they come”-

Advocaat, dressed in a light yellow jacket and jeans, said, “It is such an honor to come to Korea. Leading the Korean national [football] team is a great challenge for me, and that challenge is what led me to Korea. I will do my utmost to please football fans.” He also emphasized, “Support from fans, however, is equally important. If people around me, including football fans, actively help me, I will be able to get as good results as in the 2002 World Cup Korea/Japan.”

“Many of the Korean players participated in the 2002 World Cup, and I have Coach Verbeek, who led those players as an assistant coach back then, and Coach Hong who has enormous experience. I experienced the World Cup Games and European Football Championships, leading the Dutch national team. I am sure that if all these factors are properly harmonized, there will be good results,” added the new head coach.

“It seems like I came back to my hometown,” said Verbeek, who came back to Korea after three years. “Watching previous matches on a DVD sent by the [Korean Football] Association, I felt that Korean players have lost their confidence. Thus, the very first task of mine is to boost the morale of the players,” added the coach.

Having contributed to Korea’s making to the semifinals in the 2002 World Cup as the chief assistant coach of the Korean team, which then was led by Guus Hiddink, Verbeek expressed his confidence, saying, “I am well aware that Korean fans have high expectations. That is why I came here.”

In the evening of that day, Advocaat and Verbeek attended a welcoming dinner held by the Korean Football Association (KFA) at the Shilla Hotel, Seoul to meet KFA Chair Chung Mong-jun, Chairman Lee Hoe-taek of the KFA Technical Committee and other figures in Korean football circles. In an official press conference on September 30, Advocaat will clarify his basic ideas for leading the Korean national football team in the qualifier matches for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com