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National Soccer Team Will Get Younger

Posted October. 04, 2006 07:08,   


Will younger soccer players be selected for the game with Ghana?

Coach Pim Verbeek rejuvenated the Korea national soccer team before the team’s match with Ghana on October 8 and with Syria on October 11.

In the player list of the third national team under Verbeek, 16 out of the 30 players listed are younger than 23 years old. Verbeek included the younger players in the reserve list on his first national team for the match with Taiwan in August and the second team for the matches with Iran and Taiwan last month. In real games, however, he chose “stability” by selecting older players. He said, “Winning comes before generational transition.”

However, it might be different this time.

Before publishing the player list for the Asian Games, the Korea Football Association had a meeting with Verbeek, the coaching staff of other national teams, and technique council members. The main topic was “generational transition.” A technique council member Choi Gyeong-sik said, “Technique council members expressed their disappointment when the previous coaches failed to employ younger players. Verbeek also agreed on the need of generational transition since older players won’t be able to play in 2010.”

In addition to goalkeeper Lee Un-jae, who was already dropped from the list, players who may be replaced by younger players include: Kim Yeong-cheol, Kim Sang-sik, and Lee Yeong-pyo.

Choi forecast that players for the Asian Games will be selected for the match with Ghana. He emphasized, “This will be a good chance for younger players to train and test their ability even though all of them cannot play in the game.” Kim Chi-woo (23, Incheon), Yeom Ki-hoon (23, Jeonbuk), and Oh Jang-eun (21, Daegu) are being considered for the test. The first goal of the rejuvenated team is winning in the Asian Games Doha 2006.

Former coach Choi Jin-han said, “We don’t have enough time to prepare for the Asian Games as players play in K-League games. These matches with Ghana and Syria will help them prepare for the Asian Games. It is also a good chance to prepare for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.”