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S. Korea nat'l football team set to appoint chief assistant coach

All News 17:27 April 13, 2017

SEOUL, April 13 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean men's national football team is set to hire a chief assistant coach sometime this month after its beleaguered boss Uli Stielike returned from Europe, a senior official at the sport's national federation said Thursday.

Lee Yong-soo, who leads the Korea Football Association (KFA) technical committee, said he will talk with Stielike in the near future about hiring a South Korean chief assistant coach for the national team. It is expected that the hiring process could be completed by next week.

Stielike arrived back in South Korea earlier Thursday, after his seven-day trip to Britain and Germany, where he checked on his players and had discussions about the national team. The German, however, couldn't meet with Lee, who headed to Gimpo International Airport in Seoul to greet the women's national football team returning from earning an Asian Cup spot in Pyongyang.

"I'm planning to discuss the coaching staff issue with Stielike since he is back from the trip," said Lee, who declined to comment on possible candidates for the job.

Local media have been rolling out names like former Jeonnam Dragons head coach Jung Hae-sung, who previously served as assistant to Guus Hiddink during the 2002 FIFA World Cup and also worked as the chief assistant to Huh Jung-moo during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Former Seongnam FC coach Kim Hak-bum and the current national under-20 boss Shin Tae-yong have also been mentioned.

Lee previously said the incoming chief assistant should have abundant experience and will have to be South Korean.

Stielike said he hopes the new coach will make the team atmosphere positive and help facilitate communication between the players and the coaching staff.

Stielike has been in hot water after his team fell 1-0 to China and had a nail-biting 1-0 win over Syria at home in the final Asian qualifying round for the 2018 FIFA World Cup last month.

While angry fans here have called for Stielike's head, questioning his tactical acumen and selection of players, the KFA technical committee decided to keep him at the helm and promised to give more support to the national team, including recruitment of a chief assistant coach and a physical trainer.

kdon@yna.co.kr
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