Kim Eun-joong, the under-20 (U-20) soccer team coach, will be in his first official competition.
Coach Kim attended a press conference held at Ulsan Sports Complex on the 14th and expressed his feelings and determination to participate in the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-20 Asian Cup.
The U-20 national team will participate in the Asian Cup held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in March. Korea, which is included in Group C, will play the group stage against Jordan and Tajikistan, starting with the match against Oman. This tournament also serves as an Asian qualifier for the U-20 World Cup held in Indonesia from May to June this year. To qualify for the World Cup finals, a team must reach at least the semi-finals in this event.
It is not an easy challenge. The U-20 national team is facing the 1st and 2nd places in Group D in the quarterfinals, and there is a high possibility of clashing with Japan or Saudi Arabia. Both teams are burdensome opponents with no guarantee of victory.
Coach Kim said, “To go to the World Cup, we have to do well in the March tournament. If you ride well, you can continue the good flow to the World Cup,” he said. “The World Cup is the next story. First of all, Asian competitions are more important. In fact, many other teams from Asia have also come up, so I am focusing and preparing for this tournament more than the World Cup. If we prepare better, I think we will be a stronger team than Japan and Saudi Arabia. I will do my best to win the championship after a long time,” he said with determination and confidence.
Over the past year, coach Kim has worked hard to complete a speedy football that fits the trend of modern football. There are achievements. “I think about 80% of it is complete,” he said. He said, “I try to play dynamic, attacking football with quick transitions between offense and defense,” and “I emphasize that strikers should score as many goals as possible.”
Coach Kim, who played an active role as the best striker during his active career, said, “Sung Jin-young has been showing good form lately, scoring consecutive goals. Lee Yeongjun was the top scorer in the first qualifying round last year. These players are improving a lot. I am looking forward to it because it is the position I care about the most.”
However, there is no special ace like Lee Kang-in, who played a big role in the 2019 Poland tournament, in Kim Eun-joong. Instead, it is a structure in which various players such as Kang Seong-jin, Bae Jun-ho, and Kim Yong-hak play their part in various combinations. 메이저놀이터 Coach Kim said, “We don’t have a team that can be called an ace yet, but that can be a strength. I think an ace will come out through this tournament. I think it’s better because there’s a chance it’s not just one or two, but several.”
Coach Kim also has the experience of participating in this competition in 1998 and leading it to the championship. “His confidence is especially important because the players are young,” he said. When I was a player, I challenged myself with confidence. I remember playing with no regrets. We say the same to our players. You have to have more confidence.”
Over the past year, coach Kim has been breathing and communicating with young players who are over 20 years old. “There is a big generation gap,” he said. Of course, I don’t understand our players 100%. This is not an oppressive generation. So I always understand and explain when I order something. so it follows We are trying to communicate,” he said.