South Korea’s Olympic frustration, Japan’s victory → J League, U-21 League… Kim Eun-joong and Yoon Jung-hwan emphasize their youth development system

Japan continues to make efforts to foster youth. Kim Eun-joong and Yoon Jung-hwan have emphasized a youth development system.

In order for Hwang to advance to the Olympics, he had to do well at the U-23 Asian Cup. The top, second, and third-ranked teams at the U-23 Asian Cup will directly advance to the Olympics, while the fourth-ranked team will compete with the Guineas for the berth. However, the U-23 team failed to set a new milestone of advancing to the Olympics for 10 consecutive times as it wrapped up its competition in the quarterfinals.

The group league was smooth. As the team was in the same group with Japan, the United Arab Emirates and China, I had many concerns. However, I had no reason to worry about it. Hwang confidently advanced to the quarterfinals as No. 1 in the group with three wins out of three matches.

However, they met Indonesia under Shin Tae-yong in the quarterfinals and lost after fierce competition for penalty shootout. Hwang had to pack. The result was not good, but the team was not as satisfactory. It failed to lead the game against Indonesia, which is considered relatively weaker than Korea. If Indonesia had a little better decisiveness, it would not be strange if it lost within a regular time, let alone overtime.

Japan, which lost to Korea in the group league, took the title. Japan has prepared four years for the Olympics. At the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, Japan organized a squad of players under 21 and gained experience. As a result, Japan showed its strongest performance in Asia by winning the U-23 Asian Cup.

Japan was not satisfied with its win at the U-23 Asian Cup. In order to continuously foster youth, the J-League plans to establish a league in which only players under the age of 21 participate. Under-21 players of J-League teams compete with each other.

Like Japan, Korea should focus more on its youth development system. The Korea Football Association is running the Golden Age for those aged eight to 15. Golden Age refers to selecting outstanding players by age group and managing them continuously. The K-League is striving to guarantee young players’ participation by utilizing the 22-year-old rule.

However, as the team failed to advance to the Olympics this time, some people doubted the effectiveness of the youth development system. In fact, it is bound to take a long time to determine whether the youth development system is successful. Therefore, we need to refine the system by constantly thinking about it and checking it. We need to do good things, not as we have been doing. We need to think deeply about how to properly foster youth players.

Head coaches Kim Eun-joong and Yoon Jeong-hwan also emphasized the youth development system. “Japan won the U-23 Asian Cup for the first time in eight years, and it plans to run the U-21 league in the J-League from next year. Japan has made good results, but is preparing for the next one. Good resources continue to emerge in Korea as well. We need to pay attention to developing young resources by introducing the U-21 league as soon as possible,” Kim said. 스포츠토토

Coach Yoon Jung-hwan said, “The K-League has been implementing the 22-year-old rule for several years. Last year alone, some players played for only 10 to 20 minutes. It was questionable whether the K-League would be able to display competitiveness in international competitions with short experiences. We need to think about systematic development of players. We hope that the development of youth including Golden Age will change systematically. Due to military reasons, we usually send 23-year-olds to Asian Games and Olympic Games. That is why we do not have enough time for young players to improve their performance. We need to pay attention to developing players in different age groups.”

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