10th Olympics in a row? Hwang Sun-hong says it’s ‘unconditional’

“We prepared meticulously from the January call-up”
April 23 Asian Cup 1st-3rd Olympic qualification
K League players step up to the plate in the absence of overseas players
“There is no reason. It’s unconditional.”
There’s something about the determination of Korean Olympic soccer team coach Hwang Sun-hong as he enters the new year 2024.

It’s a testament to the weight of the task of becoming the world’s first team to qualify for 10 consecutive Olympic soccer tournaments. “

It’s not an easy task, but we have to do it,” he told Hankyoreh.
As a player, Hwang led South Korea to the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup quarterfinals, and as a coach, he has proven his leadership skills in the professional ranks.

He made his mark again at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games last year, leading South Korea to gold.
However, the joy of victory faded like the snow that fell the night before.

The team’s immediate task is to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-23 Asian Cup in Qatar in April (April 15-May 3).

First through third place in the qualifiers will get a direct ticket, while fourth place will have to play a playoff against an African team.
“The goal is clear,” says coach Hwang Sun-hong.

We will prepare to qualify for the Olympic Games for the 10th time in a row,” said Hwang.
While South Korea is the Asian powerhouse, there are many variables as the quality of nations has leveled off and Japan has made the leap to the extra-Asian level.

In Group B (Korea, Japan, China, and the United Arab Emirates), South Korea will need to finish 1-2 to advance to the quarterfinals.

In the quarterfinals, they will likely face one of Group A’s powerhouses, Qatar or Australia, and then will have a tougher task in the semifinals, facing either Saudi Arabia or Uzbekistan, the reigning Group C-D champions.
The team will be without a number of international players, including Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), Jung Sang-bin (Minnesota), Kim Ji-soo (Brentford), Park Kyu-hyun (Dresden) and Lee Han-beom (Mitwillan).



Hwang said, “We can’t call up overseas players.

However, there are many competitive players in the K League.

We will refine our organization around them.”
Due to the mandatory 22-year-old rule in the K League, teams have many players under 23 with practical skills.

Go Young-jun (Pohang), Uhm Ji-sung (Gwangju), Ahn Jae-jun (Bucheon), Heo Yul (Gwangju), and Hwang Jae-won (Daegu), who also played in the Asian Games, are specialized in Hwang’s tactics.

In addition, forward Jeon Byung-kwan (Daejeon), midfielder Min Kyung-hyun (Incheon), and defenders Cho Woo-je (Busan), Cho Hyun-taek (Ulsan), Son Seong-kwan (Bucheon), Cho Sung-kwon (Gimpo), and Kim Sun-ho (Bucheon) were tested by Hwang during the European trials in November.
“In the end, it’s all about muster training.

We need to get together as soon as possible, and we need to play evaluation games to boost our strength.”

He also emphasized, “My tactics are flexible.

We have a short period of time, so we need to make sure the team is well balanced.”

The balance he refers to is the balance of numbers on the field.

It’s good to have a lot of numbers when you’re pushing forward, but you can’t do it constantly, and it’s not good to have a lot of numbers in defense. 카지노사이트777

You need to be efficient in engaging, pressing, counterattacking, and transitioning the ball quickly.
Training is what makes this possible.

Hwang, who emphasizes a fast-paced game with non-stop passing, needs to pick players who are good at it, utilize their characteristics, and add tactical color to create a strong team.

The group stage match against Japan is also a concern.

Hwang remembers the 0-3 loss to Japan in the quarterfinals of the 2022 U23 Asian Cup.

“I’ve watched the game many times, and we lacked a lot.

Japan is a good team, but we will find a solution by being organized,” Hwang said.
If the team qualifies for the Olympic Games, they will be able to add a player over the age of 24 as a wild card. “

If I could choose, it would be Tottenham’s Son Heung-min, Zvezda’s Hwang In-beom, and Bayern Munich’s Kim Min-jae.

The door is open,” he laughed.
Commentator Kim Dae-gil said, “In soccer, there are 11 players, but in the end, it comes down to one-on-one battles.

That’s why there’s a difference between countries with a thick player base and those without.”

“Hwang is very experienced and has the ability to organize.

(In our reality) we need to improve our organization and prepare.

We will definitely qualify.”
“We will definitely qualify for the 10th time in a row,” Hwang said as the team began training in January.

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