“The World Cup goal is to advance to the semifinals. Nothing is impossible in football.”
Korean women’s soccer head coach Colin Bell (62) revealed her bold aspirations in an interview with the magazine on the 7th in Ulsan, the training ground for the national team. “I’ve been telling my players since a year ago, ‘Now all my focus is on the 2023 Women’s World Cup,'” he said. She wants the players to take each chance through the World Cup,” she said.
Korea (FIFA 15th), led by Bell, will go to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand in July. Korea has been quenching itself in Ulsan since the end of last month in order to surpass the top 16, the highest ever achieved at the 2015 Canadian Championship (24 countries participated at the time). Starting with this tournament, the number of participating countries has increased to 32, and Korea will compete in the group stage with Colombia (27th), Morocco (76th), and Germany (2nd).
Korea will participate in the ‘Arnold Clark Cup’, a friendly competition held in England from the 17th, and will play against strong England (4th), Italy (17th) and Belgium (20th) for one week. Coach Bell said, “This tournament is really important in the process of preparing for the World Cup.” He said, “Playing three games in a short period of one week is also training for adaptation to the World Cup group stage. It is because you have to recover quickly after playing one game to be able to play the next game normally,” he said. “The players will raise their senses by competing against strong teams with good physical conditions.”
◇ “Participating in the World Cup, a highlight for me too”
Coach Bell, who is from England, is the head coach of the 2015 German Women’s Bundesliga FFC Frankfurt, who led the UEFA (European Football Confederation) Women’s Champions League victory. Having continued his coaching career mainly in Europe, the destination he chose in 2019 was Korea, a distant country in the east. Coach Bell said, “When I first saw the Korean national team, I got the impression that they are a technically good team. As a director, I tried to fill in these points,” he said. He said, “Looking at the results so far, the team is going in the right direction.”
The women’s national team also achieved desired results, such as achieving the best ever record of runner-up in the 2022 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup under coach Bell’s training. Although they lost 2-3 to China in the final, Bell considers this match the most memorable. “It wasn’t a good result, but the meaning of the final is always special,” he said. “We are running for the dream of becoming No. 1 in Asia beyond China and Japan.” Coach Bell agreed to a renewal of his contract after the Asian Cup, and now he is moving towards the World Cup. Bell is the first foreign coach to sign an extended contract among former foreign coaches who have led the men’s and women’s national teams. 토토사이트
This World Cup is also special for coach Bell. This is because it was the first FIFA World Cup stage in his entire career. He said, “I did a lot as a leader, such as winning the European Champions League, and I could have retired. But participating in the World Cup motivates me to move forward and grow,” he said. “It will be a highlight in my coaching life.”
◇ A foreign coach who sings the national anthem and shouts ‘high intensity’ Coach
Bell places great importance on communication between coaches and players. He started learning Korean right after taking office to ensure smooth communication. He sang along with the national anthem during the A match (national competition), and at the press conference, he spoke expressions such as ‘high intensity’, ‘proactive’ and ‘don’t give up’ in Korean. These are all words Director Bell likes. He said, “Twice a week, I learn conversation and grammar with the help of Korean teachers for 30 minutes.” He continued, “In overseas countries where classes are difficult, I repeat and review while looking at books. He is familiar with real life and football terminology.”
Coach Bell laughed awkwardly, saying, “Korean is difficult,” but when he talked about the vision of women’s soccer, he was full of affection for Korea.
“I will do my best to represent the country. I hope many fans will give their strength so that women’s soccer can grow further, such as nurturing young players, and we will show good performance.”