Hangzhou’s Asian Games soccer coach Hwang Sun-hong has vowed to adapt to the local weather as the team heads to China for a series of friendly matches and to secure a final spot on the Asian Games roster.
The Asian Games men’s soccer team (U24), led by Hwang Sun-hong, departed from Incheon International Airport on Wednesday for two friendly matches against the Chinese Asian Games team.
The friendly matches will be held at Jinhua Stadium in Zhejiang Province, China, on March 15 and 19.
A total of 26 players will participate in the friendly matches against China. This brings the total number of Asian Games athletes to 23.
Of the 28 players named to the Asian Games squad for China, which was announced on Friday, Park Kyu-hyun (Dynamo Dresden) was named to the A squad led by head coach Jürgen Klinsmann.
Park replaces Kwon Kyung-won (Gamba Osaka), who suffered an ankle ligament injury during a J-League match in Japan last week and was left out of the June A-match call-up.
Ahn Jae-jun (Bucheon) was left off the roster for the China friendly due to injury.
The KFA said it decided not to fill the vacancies of Park Kyu-hyun and Ahn Jae-joon as it felt there was enough room in the existing roster.
Kim Tae-hyun (Vegalta Sendai, Japan) will join the squad locally. Jung Woo-young (Freiburg) and Oh Jae-hyuk (Jeonbuk), whose visas were delayed, will also join the team locally by the 13th.
“This is the last official call-up before the Hangzhou Asian Games in September, the final stage of the jade stone,” said coach Hwang Sun-hong. “We have planned an evaluation game to adapt to the high humidity and atmosphere of the region, and we will bring back the results.”
“If there is an unavoidable injury, (me and Coach Klinsmann) have to understand each other,” Hwang said of Park’s withdrawal from the A team, “but Coach Klinsmann said he will help me a lot in September, so it will be a win-win strategy.”
He also said, “I would like to have a day or two with the cooperation of each team’s manager when the K League has a little time before the September A match period.” “I have a wild card in my head, but nothing has been finalized yet. We are contacting the players personally and listening to their opinions.”
Midfielder Song Min-kyu (Jeonbuk) said before his departure, “I have no regrets (about not being selected for the A team). I am always honored wherever I am selected, and I will always do my best according to the task and situation.”
“I know there is a lot of competition between all the players in the second team,” he said, “I will enjoy the competition and play with all the players as one.” 안전놀이터
Midfielder Uhm Won-sang (Ulsan) said, “If the team gives me a tactic, I will play according to my role,” adding, “In the competition for the second team, I will appeal to the coach with my speed.”
Uhm Won-sang said, “Of course, the goal is to win the Asian Games. All the players think so,” she said, adding, “I will adapt to the aggressive soccer that the coach wants, including movements that can score goals.”