‘Hwang Sun-Hong Ho’ eyes now on AG: What’s the competition for a starting spot in the U-24 team with only six survivors after a year?

September 13, 2023 0 Comments

The competition for starting spots is still fierce. With so much turnover in the squad from one year to the next, it’s impossible to predict who will be on the pitch at the end. This is the story of the Korean Under-24 (U-24) National Team as they prepare to compete at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games.

Led by head coach Hwang Sun-hong, the U-24 team will resume training for the Hangzhou Asian Games at the National Training Center (NFC) in Paju on the 13th. The U-24s, who held their first training session at Changwon Sports Complex from April 4-11, will take a one-day break on the 12th and continue their preparations at the NFC in Paju before departing on the 16th.

Hwang will be in charge of both the U-24 and U-22 teams. With the U-22 team competing in the Paris 2024 Olympic Games Regional Qualifiers and the U-23 Asian Cup 2024 Qualifiers, Hwang’s focus on the U-24 team has been challenged, but now that the U-22 team has completed its schedule with a match against Myanmar on December 12, Hwang will be able to focus on the U-24 team.

Hwang’s immediate task is to settle on a starting lineup for the U-24s. Hong Hyun-seok (Gent) joined the U-24 team training on the 9th after being called up from the A team, but it won’t be until the 13th that Seol Young-woo (Ulsan Hyundai), who was also called up from the A team, and Lee Kang-in (Paris Saint-Germain), who was injured, will join the team. “We have to prepare for the first match of Group E of the Asian Games against Kuwait on Nov. 19 with the players we have rather than the players who have not yet joined us,” Hwang said.

The fact that the squad has changed over the past year is also a big concern. Of the 22 players who participated in the U-23 Asian Cup in May last year, only six – Cho Young-wook (Gimcheon Commerce), Ko Young-joon (Pohang Steelers), Lee Kang-in, Hong Hyun-seok, Choi Joon (Busan I-Park), and Min Sung-joon (Incheon United) – are still available for the trip to Hangzhou. Even taking into account the absence of Uhm Won-sang (Ulsan), Song Min-kyu (Jeonbuk Hyundai), and Jung Woo-young (Stuttgart) due to their call-ups to the A team, that’s about 60 percent of the squad.바카라

The new faces include goalkeepers Lee Kwang-yeon (Gangwon FC) and Kim Jung-hoon (Jeonbuk), defender Lee Han-beom (Mitwillan) and striker Park Jae-yong (Jeonbuk). The team is expected to be strong enough to win a third consecutive Asian Games, but finding the right combination is a priority. “The coach is the only one who should be in a hurry, so I hope the players will take their time to prepare for the tournament,” Hwang said.

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