Korea Republic announce preliminary squad
Seoul: Korea Republic women's head coach Colin Bell has announced his preliminary squad list of 23 players ahead of the EAFF E-1 Football Championship 2019.
Korea Republic will host the regional tournament for the third time, with Bell's side to face China PR, Chinese Taipei and Japan in Busan from December 10 to 17.
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Bell will not be able to count on the services of Chelsea FC Women's Ji So-yun, Cho Su-hyun of West Ham United FC Women and Lee Geum-min of Manchester City Women's Football Club, who are unavailable due to club commitments.
Instead, Bell filled his team almost entirely with players from the domestic semi-pro league, the WK League.
The lone exception is 19-year-old collegiate forward Choo Hyo-ju (pictured below), who excelled with the U-19 national team during the AFC U-19 Women's Championship in October. This is Chu's first selection for the senior team.
Yeo Min-ji, a former U-17 star who has overcome a string of injuries and found a new gear, is one of six forwards.
The defense corps has a ton of experience with Kim Hye-ri (85 caps), Shim Seo-yeon (57 caps) and Jang Sel-gi (60 caps).
There will be some new faces in goal for Bell, who will take Yun Young-geul, Oh Eun-ah and Jeon Ha-neul. Oh and Jeon have never played for the senior national team - they have made six appearances combined for the U-20 team - while Yun, the veteran of the trio at age 32, has just 14 caps with the senior squad.
The Korea Football Association said Bell's squad will open camp in Ulsan on Friday and then move to the tournament host city two days later.
Korea Republic won the inaugural EAFF title in 2005 but haven't reached the top since. South Korea are No. 20 in the world, behind Japan (No. 10) and China PR (No. 16) but ahead of Chinese Taipei (No. 40).
This tournament will be the Korean coaching debut for Bell, an Englishman who was hired in October.
Two stadiums, Busan Gudeok Stadium and Busan Asiad Main Stadium, will host the matches.
Korea Republic will open against China next Tuesday and then face Chinese Taipei on December 15 and Japan two days later.
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