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Seo Jeong-won Plans to Study Football Coaching in Europe

Seo Jeong-won Plans to Study Football Coaching in Europe

Posted July. 28, 2007 03:33,   


Seo Jeong-won (37), who has played for Austria SV Reid and recently announced his retirement, said in an interview, “I have only knocked on the door of European soccer thus far; now, I will get in, take a closer look and really feel the essence of it.” Daejeon Citizen Football Club Head Coach Kim Ho, who was his coach when he played for Suwon Samsung, wanted to have him as a coach. Seo declined politely, saying, “I am thankful for the offer, but I have to study more in Europe.”

Seo is now enjoying his first break from the intense world of soccer. When we met for an interview at a coffee shop in Seoul, Seo, sporting his usual hair style and casual attire, ordered a green tea latte rather than coffee. During his 20-year career as a soccer player, he never ate or drank anything that was potentially harmful to his body. He said, “When I was young, I was told that forwards cannot have long careers. Determined to prove this theory wrong, I linked my life as a soccer player to my everyday life whole-heartedly.”

Not even speaking of alcohol, Seo has avoided any food or drink that harms the body. He feels sorry with his children because he also follows his rule of stopping playing with them before he feels tired. “You can prolong your career as a player if you follow the basic rule: Never do anything harmful to your physical conditioning. It is not easy to do, but I have tried to follow this rule,” he said.

Seo will go back to Austria in the middle of August and tour Europe. With Austria, where his family is staying, as his base, he plans to go to Germany, France, Netherlands, and England to “study” soccer. He already has a C-level certificate for football coaching issued by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and aims to obtain B-level, A-level, and even P-level certificates, which will take two and half to five years.

Seo explained, “It is hard to get a certificate without studying sports psychology and sports medicine in Europe. These days, more weight is given to sport psychology.”

Every team is focusing on the relationship between coaches and players by hiring an expert in sports psychology. European teams believe that teamwork cannot be made without good communication. “Sports psychology is more important in a country such as Korea; Korean coaching is still oppressive and one-sided. The potential of players will be developed more effectively when the wall between coaches and players is knocked down.”

Seo dreams of becoming a good leader who has a broader perspective than his own experience. He wants to become a coach who knows “at least what football is” and makes players “understand football.”

He showed his determination, saying, “I just finished the first half. I will do my best in the second half as I did in the first.”