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Hong Myung-bo named Ulsan Hyundai FC head coach


Seoul: Hong Myung-bo has been appointed as the new head coach for 2020 AFC Champions League winners Ulsan Hyundai FC.

Hong replaces Kim Do-hoon, who led Ulsan to their second AFC Champions League title last Saturday, beating Islamic Republic of Iran's Persepolis FC in the final.

Hong, a former professional footballer who played in Korea Republic, Japan and the United States, will be looking to stamp his mark in the K League 1 next season, with Ulsan Hyundai having finished runners-up twice in a row.

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"I've experienced virtually everything I could have in football, but there was always something missing," he said in a statement released by Ulsan.

"I think that may have been coaching a K League team. The K League made me the man I am today, and I am grateful for the chance to coach Ulsan and contribute to the league. I'll try to set examples on and off the field."

The 51-year-old was the head coach for the U20, U23 and senior Korea Republic national teams from 2009 to 2014, before managing China PR's Hangzhou Greentown.

Before the announcement was made, Hong stepped down from his executive director role at the Korea Football Association, and said the position allowed him to further expand his vision for the game.

"I've done the best I could for the past three years, and there have been some ups and downs," Hong said. "Through it all, I've always tried to guide Korean football in a positive direction.

"Though I've been away from the field for a bit, working at the KFA allowed me to develop a new perspective. I was able to see things that I didn't notice while I was coaching."

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Ulsan will be back on the international stage on February 4, when they compete in the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar, and will begin their three-week training camp on January 7.

Photo: AFP

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