As the Korean Under-22 national soccer team prepares for its first gateway to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, captain Cho Sung-kwon (Gimpo) said that coach Hwang Sun-hong emphasizes “one team” and vowed to achieve the goal as a unit.
“It’s a great honor to train and play with players who represent the K League,” he told reporters at the team’s training session at the Changwon Football Center on Friday. “As this is our first competition in preparation for the Olympics, we prepared hard with the players to make a good start.”
The U-22s, led by Hwang Sun-hong, will begin their campaign against Qatar on Saturday in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) 2024 U-23 Asian Cup Qualifier, which is the first qualifier for the Paris Olympics. The team will then compete in next year’s U-23 Asian Cup, the final Asian qualifier for the Paris Olympics.
For the tournament, which is the first step toward the Paris Olympics, Hwang handed the captaincy to Cho Sung-kwon, whom he has been watching since last year.
“Actually, I don’t know why he entrusted me with the captaincy, but I think he trusted me,” said Cho Sung-kwon, who smiled wryly. “He doesn’t put a lot of pressure on me, but he asks for a ‘one team’, so I’m trying to share tactics with the players and practice.”
Jo Sung-kwon, who joined Gwangju FC last year after graduating from Kumho High and Ulsan National University, did not make his K League debut in Gwangju, but was loaned to K League 2 Gimpo FC this year and has been playing as a main defender.
“I think the most difficult thing to adjust to in the pros was the tempo. It was hard to keep up in the first few games, but now I’ve gotten used to it,” he said, adding, “I’m definitely gaining more confidence and feeling as I play.”
“I’m confident in my defensive coverage, interceptions, and one-on-one skills,” he said, adding that he hopes to showcase them when he competes at the Paris Olympics. 파워볼사이트