“I want to participate again” Discovering talent → Valuable experience, applause at the K-League International Youth Cup
The ‘K League International Youth Cup Incheon 2023’, ambitiously prepared by the Korea Professional Football League to celebrate its 40th anniversary, ended amidst favorable reviews. This tournament was held by the Professional Football League to promote international exchange among K-League youth. From the 3rd to the 8th, the group stage was held with 6 teams divided into 2 groups. On the 9th, the finals and ranking match were held. In Korea, FC Seoul, Suwon Samsung, Jeonbuk Hyundai, Pohang Steelers, Incheon United, and Bupyeong High School participated. These are the teams ranked 1st to 4th in the K League Youth Club of the Year Award and two clubs from the host region. In Europe, Real Sociedad (Spain), Valencia (Spain), RSC Anderlecht (Belgium), and Wolverhampton (England) participated. The Asian teams participating were Tokyo Verdi (Japan) and Chonburi FC (Thailand). After a fierce battle on the pitch, Anderlecht became the inaugural champion.
It was a meaningful stage. After the competition, everyone from foreign coaches to players poured out rave reviews. The key was experience. Anderlecht coach Rene Peter said: “Experience is important for players of this age. We mainly had experience in Europe. This tournament is meaningful as we get to know how youth players from other countries train and perform on other continents. In Brussels. I came to Korea via Qatar. I took a plane for more than 24 hours. It was a difficult journey and I had to adjust to the time difference. Through this valuable experience, young players were given great opportunities in their lives. Gaining great experience is the win. “It was a more valuable experience,” he said.토토사이트
Baek Seung-won (Pohang), who participated in the tournament, said, “I had a lot of good experiences. I also played against overseas teams that I couldn’t normally play against. I liked being able to play on natural grass instead of artificial turf. While playing against European teams, I liked it. “I felt that I was lacking in physical and technical aspects. I want to improve these problems and become a better player,” he said. Players from foreign countries also gave a ‘thumbs up’. Runner-up Hikaru Tsuchiya (Tokyo Verdi) said, “It was the best because I was able to have a great experience that I couldn’t normally have. I have almost no experience playing against foreign teams. It was fun to experience tense situations every day. I played with a physically good European player. “It was very difficult to play. I don’t think we lost in terms of mentality. Korea was a team with excellent ball handling skills and a strong mentality,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Professional Football League has continued to promote international exchanges to improve the international competitiveness of K-League youth. K-League youth teams have been dispatched to numerous international competitions, including the J-League International Cup (2015-2019), Qatar Alcas International Cup (2019), and MLS GA Cup (2019). From 2015 to 2019, J-League teams and MLS teams were invited to the K-League Youth Championship Summer Tournament to compete against each other. However, COVID-19 got in the way. Due to special circumstances, it has become difficult to attend large-scale international competitions overseas. Instead, the Professional Football Federation collaborated with the Spanish Primera Liga Secretariat in 2022 and 2023 to conduct the ‘K League
The Professional Football League went one step further and held an international competition in Korea. There was also an opportunity to exchange training methods through an on-site leader seminar. After the competition, a cultural experience event touring Korea’s landmarks such as Gyeongbokgung Palace, Lotte Tower, and Hangang Park was included in the schedule. He played a significant role in promoting Korea both on and off the field.
Coach Peter said, “The quality of the competition was quite outstanding. We have participated in many youth competitions abroad. We have also been to competitions held in China. It was a different level of competition. I had no idea that a team of this level was participating. Although we won the championship, To be honest, it wasn’t easy. In particular, there were many teams that were outstanding at the level of the Korean youth team. I was very impressed with the potential of the Korean players. I thought that Korea would grow into an interesting team in the future. The organizers and officials did a good job organizing the tournament. “I really liked it. If I get another chance, I definitely want to participate,” he said.