Dhaka (Bangladesh), 27 September: The South Korean National Hockey team is the most successful team in Asia Cup’s history with four title wins (1993, 1999, 2009, 2013). They will go into Hero Asia Cup 2017 as the defending champions of the tournament as they won the last edition in 2013 by beating India 4-3 in the final match in Ipoh, Malaysia. However, the Asian champions have struggled to find their feet in the past couple of years – finishing 6th at the FIH Men’s Hockey Champions Trophy 2016 being their best result.
But South Korea’s Team Manager, Kim Yoon Dong, is confident that the defending champions will be able to exceed expectations at this year’s Hero Asia Cup after having seen an overhaul in the team’s composition, both in management and players. Yoon Dong said, “It is true that our team has not been able to perform well in the recent times, but it is because we have been going through a transitioning phase in the national team. We have made several improvements in the management, coaching staff and the players by mixing experience with youth.”
South Korea finished at a disappointing 9th place in the FIH World League Semi-Final in London and are currently ranked 13th in the world, but Yoon Dong remains calm as he believes his team will deliver at Hero Asia Cup 2017 when they face off against their opponents in Pool B – Malaysia, China and Oman. “We are in a Pool where we have three good opponents placed against us, but I am confident that our team will strategise well to defeat all the teams. We have been working hard on our counter-attacking and will look to put the opposition under pressure with that. The mixture of youth and experience in our team creates a good atmosphere inside the dressing room, and we are all in high spirits ahead of the Hero Asia Cup 2017,” tbbhe Korean said.
Speaking on what the team’s aim will be in the Hero Asia Cup 2017, Yoon Dong minced no words. He said, “We will be aiming to win the Hero Asia Cup 2017 and thereby qualify for next year’s World Cup in India. We have been working on coordination in our training, carving out different techniques to bring out the best results for the team. We have a fantastic mixture of young and experienced players in the team in the form of Lee Seungil, Lee Nam Yong and Jang Jong-Hyun, who will be geared up to win a hat-trick of Asia Cup titles in Bangladesh.”
South Korea will open their Hero Asia Cup 2017 campaign on Thursday 12 October, 2017 against Oman in Pool B and will face Malaysia and China on 14 October, 2017 and 16 October, 2017 respectively.
Event fixtures: Hero Men’s Asia Cup 2017 – Match Schedule
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