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Will Coach Huh’s Bad Habits Affect the Team?

Posted December. 18, 2007 05:25,   

한국어

“Coach, can you please turn off your cell phone?”

The PR team of the Korean Football Association (KFA) is having a hard time, thanks to continued leaks by an insider – national team coach Huh Jeong-moo.

Coach Huh has been beyond kind and obliging to the press, answering every question he’s received from phone calls. Thanks to his charitable deeds, the PR team has been kept on their toes around the clock, trying to resolve any information that he has provided to the press, which may not necessarily be true. If one paper publishes an article, another paper would criticize it, so the PR staff of the KFA has been busy working as the middleman for the misinformed members of the press.

In the past when foreign coaches were at the helm, they adhered strictly to PR protocols and communicated with the PR team before approaching or being approached by the press or holding a press conference. This saved the KFA from significant miscommunication or an imbalanced distribution of hot news sources to the press. However, Huh has a long string of old acquaintances in the press, and he has been quite the chatterbox. From there on, stories will be blown out of proportion and out of control.

A PR staff member implored the new coach, saying, “For the well-being of everyone involved, you need to let us deal with the press.” But old habits die hard, and Huh continues to be generous to his old friends from the press. Park Seong-hwa, the coach of the Olympic squad who immediately delegates anything related to dealing with the press to the PR team, said, “It’s a strange phenomenon as normally it saves coaches much trouble to leave the PR work to the PR folks and free themselves from such stress so that they can concentrate on what they’re supposed to do.”

When the official training regimen begins for the national team, the phone will be ringing off the hook, and the PR team will continue to receive hundreds of calls from the press daily. Something must be done to put a stop to the new coach’s old habit. If not, he will end up spending more time answering phone calls all day. Some KFA members are already expressing dissatisfactions regarding the choice to hire a local coach for the team, pointing to the misconduct already displayed by Huh.

The choice is up to the coach. Will he continue his ways and spend his hours with his ear glued to the cell phone, or will he focus on the training only?



yjongk@donga.com