For the commanders responsible for the future of Korean soccer, persuading foreign clubs is a new task.
As the number of players who entered the big stage at a young age increased, it became a series of difficulties from selecting players before participating in international competitions.
Coach Kimㅋㅋㅋ벳 Eun-jung (44), who is preparing for the U-20 World Cup, which opens in Argentina on the 20th, and Hwang Seon-hong (55), who are waiting for the Asian Games in Hangzhou in September, have a common concern.
With the U-20 World Cup approaching, it is not easy for coach Kim to select the final entry (21 players). He contacted the club on a European business trip in March to discuss the selection of players. As a result, Kim Yong-hak (Protimonense), Lee Ji-han (Freiburg), and Cho Jin-ho (Fenerbahce) were able to join the final call that took place at the Paju Training Center from the 1st.
The problem is that Lee Hyun-joo, who is considered a key player in the U-20 World Cup, was omitted from this call. Playing in the second team of Bayern Munich, Germany, he scored 9 goals and 2 assists this season. Lee Hyun-joo is a player with a bright future enough to skip to the Asian Games national team, but there is a possibility that he will not be able to participate in the tournament. Although it is a competition organized by the International Football Federation (FIFA), it is not an A match and the selection of players is not guaranteed.
Coach Kim tried to persuade Munich with the Korea Football Association, but it is known that finding an agreement is not easy. In the past, Munich had a precedent that did not allow Jung Woo-young (Freiburg) to be selected in the 2019 Polish tournament, where Korea achieved runner-up. Director Kim said, “Nothing has been decided yet. Even if (Lee Hyun-joo) joins, he can be summoned locally.” Perhaps because of this, the association is considering a way to accompany a reserve member outside the final entry like the 2022 Qatar World Cup after selecting Lee Hyun-joo.
Director Hwang has a high proportion of foreign players, so the difficulty is even higher. Players who are also active in the adult national team, such as Lee Kang-in (Mallorca), Oh Hyun-kyu (Celtic), and Jung Woo-young, can participate in this tournament, but there is a difficulty in persuading the team after internal traffic control. It is fortunate that the athletes have a strong meaning in participating in the tournament because of the military service benefits.
However, it is a concern that some overseas players, whom Hwang considers as the backbone of the national team, have already completed their military service. Oh Hyun-gyu, who is proving his competitiveness at Celtic in Scotland, and Oh Se-hoon (Shimizu), who plays in Japan’s J-League, are all players who have been discharged from the Armed Forces Sports Unit. If they can take responsibility for the offense of the national team, the gold medal challenge can go smoothly, but if not, they must be prepared to weaken their offense. Director Hwang’s recent visit to Japan is also interpreted as his will to solve the issue of Oh Se-hoon’s selection. Coach Hwang said, “The timing of the Asian Games coincided with the busy schedules of the two players’ teams. For the time being, we are going to focus on solving this problem.”