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Park Seong-hwa Named New Olympic Squad Coach

Posted August. 04, 2007 03:39,   


Pim Verbeek’s four-back defense style is likely to be maintained, but the question is how to enhance the national team’s striking power.

On August 3, the Korea Football Association named Park Seong-hwa, who has put emphasis on stable defense in the past as head coach of Busan I’Park, to head the national soccer team for the 2008 Summer Olympics. Park announced his plan to keep current Olympic team coach Hong Myeong-bo. The Park-Hong system will lead the Olympic team for the qualifiers for the 2008 Beijing Olympics starting August 22.

The KFA’s technical committee chairman Lee Yeong-moo said, “Park knows the current Olympic team players well since he headed a national youth soccer team in 2003 and 2005. Some wanted to pick Hong as head, but he had a disadvantage because of the fact that he was expelled from a game against Japan in the Asian Cup. We received a notice from the Asian Football Confederation right before our final decision that Hong may not be allowed to attend games.”

Park was selected for his understanding of the flat back four defense system, which has become popular. Verbeek is recognized for his introduction and development of the defense system as head of the national team and the Olympic squad. The KFC thinks that Park will continue the system effectively.

The question is how Park, known for his focus on defense, will enhance the offense. Verbeek was also criticized for his relative neglect of the offense. Park said, “I will devise a more effective offensive tactical scheme based on stable defense. The Olympic team relies on the side attack scheme too much. I will enhance the center offense by making side defenders join the offense and using mid-fielders.”

Accordingly, more than five Olympic team players are likely to be replaced. Park plans to pick some of the new players from the national youth soccer team.