“High-intensity training, it’s important.”
It’s a phrase that has been a staple of the South Korean women’s national soccer team since Colleen Bell took the helm in October 2019. The phrase “high intensity – challenge high and strong” has become the team’s rallying cry.
As the first foreign coach in the history of the Korean women’s national team, he is looking to lead a revolt at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, which kicks off on Tuesday.
Bell, who has won the German Women’s Bundesliga, UEFA Women’s Champions League, and German Cup, among the world’s top tournaments, also enjoyed a successful stint in charge of the Irish women’s national team. A man with a clear football philosophy, he has emphasized two things since taking the reins in South Korea. Experience to be competitive on the international stage, and stamina to press the opposition at high intensity for the full 90 minutes.
In the past, most members of the women’s national team, with the exception of Ji So-yeon, who played for Chelsea, hadn’t had many opportunities to compete against foreign players. The number of A matches was also low. The environment for building international competitiveness was less favorable than it is now. Bell has emphasized this to the Korean Football Association (KFA), and in recent years, the team has played a number of trials against foreign teams to gain ‘experience’.
In February, the team participated in the Arnold Clarke Cup, where they faced ‘big guns’ like England, Italy, and Belgium. In addition, the team has competed against countries from various continents such as Jamaica, New Zealand, Zambia, and Haiti before reaching the World Cup.
“In the past, we went to the World Cup without playing many trials,” says captain Kim Hye-ri. There were times when the players were overwhelmed and inexperienced in international competitions, but this time, I think we have prepared a lot by playing against European teams,” said captain Kim Hye-ri. Most of the players in the WK League echoed this sentiment.
Physical fitness goes hand in hand with Bell’s high-intensity training regimen. The ultimate goal is to be competitive enough to compete with physically stronger foreign players. “High-intensity training is important,” Bell says every time the team meets. In fact, the team has been doing a lot of high-intensity training, including shuttle runs and sprints to improve their stamina.
Within high-intensity training, recovery speed is important. The ability to recover quickly from sprint to sprint is crucial for the team to be able to perform at a high level throughout the match. The team wanted to avoid a repeat of their runner-up finish at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Asian Cup in India last January. The team took a two-goal lead in the first half of the final against China, only to concede three goals in the second half. Their rapidly declining fitness and sluggish movement were the culprits. That’s why Bell emphasized “high-intensity training” in his speech. 안전놀이터
Having raised their level to where he wants them to be, the team is full of confidence. “I think our preparation is better than other competitions,” said Ji So-yeon. We will show that we have prepared well for four years.”
The team will face Colombia (ranked 25th) in their first Group H match on Sept. 25. They will then face Morocco (72nd) on the 30th and Germany (2nd) on the 3rd of next month. A different preparation process