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National Team Tryouts Are Survival Test

Posted January. 19, 2006 03:12,   


National team manager Dick Advocaat’s method for picking national team members for the World Cup seems similar to Guus Hiddink’s method in 2002.

KBS commentator Lee Yong-su, the chief technical analyst for the Korean Football Association in the 2002 World Cup, said, “Advocaat is using the overseas training period to separate the wheat from the chaff. Guus Hiddink used six weeks of overseas training to finalize the roster back in 2002.”

Lee added, “This is the first and the last training tour for the team. Repeated practices and matches will drive the athletes to a point where only the fittest will survive.”

Advocaat said, “I don’t have a set roster for the squad yet. We’ll test all the candidates slowly and pick the players who adapt best throughout the training.”

Advocaat does not bring his familiar impish smile to practices these days. And the deadly earnestness he brings is rubbing off on his players.

According to Lee Won-jae, the national team media coordinator, Advocaat does not give many orders to players after practices but “Take some rest.”

“Advacaat only directs; the rest is up to the players. He doesn’t get emotionally involved, and he will pick the ones who deserve to be picked for the 2006 World Cup.”

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com