The U-19 women’s soccer team, led by the youngest coach in history, Park Yoon-jung, will take its first step toward the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2024 with an exhibition match against Uzbekistan.
The U-19 women’s team, led by Park Yoon-jung, will depart for Uzbekistan via Incheon International Airport on Sunday afternoon.
Park, who was born in 1989 and is the youngest coach in history and only the third woman to take the helm of the national team, is aiming to qualify for the U-20 Women’s World Cup in Colombia next September.
To qualify for the World Cup, the team will need to finish third or better at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-20 Women’s Asian Cup in March next year.
Park will be training in Uzbekistan until March 4 with the goal of reaching the Asian Cup podium.
The team will play an exhibition match against Uzbekistan on Nov. 30 and Nov. 3.
Prior to his departure, Park held a press conference at the Gyeonggi Paju National Team Training Center (NFC), where he revealed the pressure and expectations of being the youngest coach in the country, but also set out his criteria for selecting players who are “faithful to the basics.
“There is pressure from being the youngest, but I’m also excited and looking forward to the idea that I can do something because I’m young,” Park said. “I have an experienced coaching staff, so I just need to do a good job. I want to help the players grow a bit more.”
Park is also an assistant coach for the women’s national team, led by Colleen Bell.
“Coach Bell told me not to be nervous. “He told me not to be nervous because it’s my first time as a coach, but we’ve done well together so far, so I told him to believe in myself and do a good job,” Park said, adding, “I got strength from his advice to do what I want to do.
Park, who coached at the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and the 2022 U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica, urges her team to stick to the basics.
“(Having participated in several international tournaments), I thought a lot about the need to prepare tactically, but to stick to the basics,” Park said. “Coach Bell’s high-intensity training is a way to survive on the world stage, and that’s something I plan to continue.”
“For young athletes, technical skills are important, but they also need to have basic courtesy in their behavior as people and students,” he said.
Park narrowed the roster from 31 to 22 players through the first training camp earlier this month, and then held the second camp for three days from the 24th.
“I chose 22 players after comprehensively looking at whether they handle the ball with confidence and do their best on the field,” Park said of the two exhibition matches against Uzbekistan, adding, “If you do your best in the process, the results will follow.” Park vowed to capture both the game and the results. 먹튀검증