Tuesday, October 19, 2010

S. Korea wary of N. Korea at Asiad football

Flag used by the Chinese Taipei national footb...Image via Wikipedia

The South Korean Olympic football team started training, Monday with the goal of taking the gold medal for the first time in 24 years at the Asian Games. Team manager Hong Myung-bo highly evaluated North Korea — the first opponents at the Guangzhou Asian Games in November.

“I will try to raise the footballer’s condition up to 100 percent. As North Korea is strong, we may have to focus on the first match,” Hong said in a press conference.

“As we haven’t won the gold medal over the past 24 years, the football team’s performance will gain a lot of attention,” Hong said. “We will do our best to achieve our goal by preparing well.”

South Korea is in the same qualifying group as North Korea, Jordan and Palestine.

Touching upon North Korea’s win at the AFC U-19 Championship in October, he said, “North Korea’s performance in the AFC U-19 Championship was different from their traditional style that I had known. I think the team will be as strong as the team in the U-19 Championship.

Hong plans to employ national team striker Park Chu-young of AS Monaco and midfielder Kim Jung-woo of Gwangju Sangmu as his wild cards.

In Korea, athletes can win military exemption if they take home gold in the Asian Games, which is a huge motivation for them to mark good results. However the 41-year-old team boss had a different idea.

“Military exemption can be a great motivation for the players, but it can also be the most harmful option for them,” Hong said.

The team will train and head to Okinawa on Oct. 29 and on to China on Nov. 5.

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