Byun Sung-hwan, head coach of South Korea’s U-17 men’s national soccer team, vowed to stick to the aggressive “build-up football” he has been playing at the World Cup.
On the 30th, 21 “Little Taeguk Warriors” were assembled at the National Football Center (NFC) in Paju, Gyeonggi Province.
The purpose was to give the team a final warm-up before the 2023 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Indonesia from Nov. 10 to Dec. 2.
In Korean soccer, where the stakes are so high for the national team, it’s common to judge the performance of age-group teams based on a “win-now” mentality.
This is why the Korean national team usually focuses on ‘practical soccer’ even in age-group international tournaments, which are also a ‘learning experience’.
However, Byun seems to be trying something a little different.
Byun prefers to play the kind of soccer that former A team coach Paulo Bento used to play: attacking from the back.
He wants to play an aggressive, no-holds-barred style of soccer to take on the world’s top teams at the World Cup.
“I’m definitely going to play my football,” Byun told reporters before the first training session of the day, “I think the direction we want to go and our style of play has been fully recognized at the Asian Cup. In the World Cup, we will play our style no matter who we face,” he said.
“Whether it’s against the United States or France, we will play to the best of our abilities and maintain our own style,” he emphasized.
Byun continued to play attacking football at the U-17 Four Nations Friendly in Marbella, Spain, from Nov. 11-17, where the team earned one draw and two losses against powerhouses like England, Morocco, and Belgium.
We scored in every game, and even scored multiple goals against Morocco (2-3 loss) and Belgium (3-3 draw), but we didn’t win. They often lost the ball in the buildup.
This hasn’t changed Byun’s soccer philosophy.
“Through the process of making mistakes, kids definitely grow. I want our players to grow up and have the ability to compete with their 19-year-old brothers. They should be selected for the Olympic and Asian Games. It is more important to see how many of them can be selected for the A team.”
Of course, results are also important.
South Korea has never made it past the quarterfinals at this tournament. The best they have done is reach the quarterfinals in 1987, 2009, and 2019.
Coach Byun Sung-hwan, who was initially asked about his ‘target performance’ and replied, “We will play our own style against the strongest teams,” said when asked again, “I know the best result is the quarterfinals. We will challenge for more than that,” he said.
He said that the team is about ‘90%’ of the way to the level he wanted, “We will fill in the remaining 10% of the details. It’s just a rehearsal for the plan we’re planning,” he said, showing confidence.
If they make it through the group stage, they could face Japan in the round of 16.
Byun has fond memories of the 0-3 loss to Japan in the U-17 Asian Cup final in July, when they lost a man in the first half.
“I thought that if things went well (in the group stage), we could get our ‘revenge’ in the round of 16,” Byun said, adding, “We’re doing a good job of filling in the gaps. With a good performance, we want to create a situation where we are smiling when the final whistle blows.”
South Korea is in Group E and will face the United States (Dec. 12), France (Dec. 15) and Burkina Faso (Dec. 18).
The 24-team group stage is divided into six groups of four teams.
The top two finishers from each group and the four best third-place finishers will advance to the round of 16 tournament to determine the winner. 무료슬롯게임