Seoul: Korea Football Association (KFA) named Kim Hak-bum as the new head coach for Korea Republic’s U-23 football team on Wednesday.
The KFA has tasked Hak-bum to lead the team at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia in August, where Korea Republic won the 2014 Asian Games gold medal.
Hak-bum, who turns 58 on Thursday, spent the majority of his coaching career with K League 2 club Seongnam FC. He won the K League Championship with them in 2006, and later the Football Association Cup in 2014.
He has also managed two other clubs, Gangwon FC and Gwangju FC, as well as Chinese outfit Henan Jianye. Kim most recently coached Gwangju FC from August to November 2017.
Kim Pan-gon, Head of the KFA’s Committee on national team coaching hiring, said the new coach has a ‘good understanding’ of the current corp of the U-23 players, and that the KFA was confident in Hak-bum’s ability to produce strong results at the Asian Games.
“He has a clear plan on how he will communicate with his players,” said Pan-gon. “He has experience taking over clubs in difficult situations and has always been a great motivator.”
Hak-bum told yonghapnews.co.kr that he feels ‘a strong sense of duty’ after taking over such an important post.
Though he has never managed the U-23 age group, Hak-bum said he has always maintained close contact with young players at his previous clubs and he’s also been keeping tabs on the current U-23 national team.
“I made my own list of problems to address and identified strengths and weaknesses of each player,” said Hak-bum. “When I have the opportunity, I will talk in more detail about how I am going to run this team and what kind of football we will play.”