Go to Contents Go to Navigation

(LEAD) Nat'l football team to add experienced S. Korean coach, physical trainer to coaching staff

All Headlines 17:58 April 05, 2017

(ATTN: CHANGES headline; REWRITES throughout with KFA's announcement)

SEOUL, April 5, (Yonhap) -- The South Korean men's national football team will hire an experienced local coach and a physical trainer to support its beleaguered boss Uli Stielike, the Korea Football Association (KFA) said Wednesday.

The KFA technical committee, led by Lee Yong-soo, plans to add two members to Stielike's backroom staff to help the national team qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. South Korea are looking for a ninth consecutive World Cup appearance but disappointed fans with mediocre performances last month.

Stielike has been in hot water after his team fell 1-0 to China and collected a nail-biting 1-0 win over Syria at home with uninspiring performances. While angry fans here called for Stielike's head, questioning his tactical acumen and his selection of players, the technical committee on Monday decided to keep the German head coach at the helm and promised to provide more support to him.

In this file photo, taken on March 28, 2017, South Korean men's national football team head coach Uli Stielike (3rd from L) is congratulated by the national team staff after South Korea beat Syria 1-0 in their 2018 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifier at Seoul World Cup Stadium in Seoul. (Yonhap)

The KFA said the technical committee decided to recommend Stielike to have an experienced South Korean coach and new physical trainer on his side. The committee, comprised of 12 members, also asked Stielike to select the players with experience and devotion when he forms the squad in the future.

The KFA added Lee and Stielike had a meeting at a Seoul hotel and the latter accepted the technical committee's recommendation.

Stielike currently has Seol Ki-hyeon and Carlos Alberto Armua as his assistants, while Cha Sang-kwang serves as goalkeeper coach. Former national team defender Cha Du-ri works as an advanced scout. The technical committee previously tried to recruit a foreign chief assistant coach, but failed to land a deal.

An official from the KFA said the new coach is expected to help Stielike in areas from player selection to tactical preparations.

"Stielike observes players in the K League, but since he is a foreigner, it's not easy to grasp every player's characteristics," the official said on the condition of anonymity. "All members of the technical committee will check national team-caliber players' performance every week. Their role is to give more information to Stielike when selecting players."

With three matches remaining in the final Asian qualifying round for the 2018 World Cup, South Korea are second in Group A which also features Iran, Uzbekistan, Syria, China and Qatar. The Taeguk Warriors have 13 points from four wins, one draw and two losses, four points behind leader Iran and one point above No. 3 Uzbekistan.

Only the top two teams in the six-team group directly advance to the World Cup in Russia, while the third-place team must go through playoff rounds to enter world football's showpiece event.

South Korea's next match is against Qatar on June 13. The national team will then host Iran on Aug. 31 before taking on Uzbekistan five days later on the road.

For the physical trainer job, the KFA said it decided to appoint Oh Seong-hwan. The 35-year-old, who received a doctorate degree at Leipzig University in Germany, has been working at the National Football Center of the national team's training ground in Paju, Gyeonggi Province.

The KFA said the new fitness coach will start working with Stielike to prepare for the qualifier against Qatar that is expected to be played in hot weather. Armua currently manages the national team players' fitness, but the technical committee believes the addition of another fitness expert will further help the national team.

kdon@yna.co.kr
(END)

HOME TOP
Send Feedback
How can we improve?
Thanks for your feedback!