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Soccer Coach Stresses Stamina Training for Players

Posted February. 21, 2008 03:02,   


“We have a long way to go. We need more powerful players.”

Korea national soccer coach Huh Jung-moo yesterday stressed the need for his players to beef up stamina.

Huh is getting the team prepped for the East Asia Football Federation Championship and qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup. He sat down with Dong-A Ilbo correspondents to give his general assessment of his squad.

“If all things are the same, strength calls the shots at the end,” he said. “I talk about strength every day. Of course, strength is not the only thing on my mind, but it is the foundation for everything.”

The coach has put his players through a harsh regimen such as repeated shuttle runs, saying tough training and higher stamina allow players to recover from fatigue more quickly.

Huh said what really matters is not stamina itself, but how fast players can regain it during a match. He said certain players like Yeom Gi-hun and Lee Geun-ho got tired in the second half in the 3-2 win over China Sunday, adding this contributed to Chinese goals.

He said that in the past, the national team could summon players for a long period of time, but that is now impossible without permission from the players’ pro teams. Huh said all he can do is boost teamwork as fast as possible, adding each player has to hone his own skills and strength at his club throughout the year.

“The key lies in how hard each player dedicates himself to strength training,” he said. “I really do hope they understand the importance of this and follow my advice.”

Huh also said the national team badly needs skilled defenders, with the retirement of stars such as Choi Jin-cheol.

“Despite the shortage, I see a future,” he said. “We have talented young players. I will train them to do their best.”