Age is just a number for Colin Bell, the national soccer team coach.
Head coach Bell released a list of 31 final convocation training ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next month. Five new faces as well as key players such as Ji So-yeon (Suwon FC), Cho So-hyun (Tottenham), Lee Geum-min (Brighton), Lee Young-joo (Madrid CFF), and Jang Seul-gi (Incheon Hyundai Steel) were included.
Among them, there are only three high school students. Casey Eugene Fair (Players Develop Academy, USA), born in 2007, and Won Joo-eun and Kwon Da-eun (Ulsan Hyundai High School) were selected. Players were selected based solely on ‘ability’ and ‘competitiveness’ without prejudice.
Kwon Da-eun (15 years, 309 days) was ranked second in the list of A-team selections as the youngest ever among men and women, following Ji So-yeon (15 years, 219 days). Casey Fair is also a player who played an active part in the under-16 (U-16) representative, and is 171cm tall and has a reckless breakthrough and scoring ability.
All of them enjoyed the honor of being on the national team before stepping on the adult stage. However, Bell’s surprise selection is not surprising.
In the meantime, coach Bell has been watching the players all over the place, from professional matches to age-specific matches. Last year, Bae Ye-bin (Widuk University), who was attending Pohang Girls’ High School, as well as Cheon Ga-ram (Hwacheon KSPO), who played an active part in the under-20 national team, have been selected all along.
Coach Bell often says, “Young players must grow and develop more for women’s soccer in the future.” Even after that, they were consistently selected for the A national team, and made their A-match debut, drawing a smile from coach Bell.
From now on, it is a competition. Of course, the big frame that coach Bell has been working on will not change, but the possibility that there will be another ‘surprise selection’ in the final 23 players for the World Cup cannot be ignored. While revealing this list, coach Bell emphasized, “Age doesn’t matter as long as you show your ability.”안전놀이터
“There is not much time left until the World Cup, so we have to give 100% to training and games. Every player has to work hard every day to make the final list of 23 players.”
The players will enter the Paju National Football Team Training Center (NFC) in turn from the 18th to the 23rd. And after playing a World Cup match against Haiti on the 8th of next month, the final 23 players will be confirmed and they will leave for Australia, where the group stage matches will be held.
With the World Cup just a month away, ‘age’ doesn’t matter at all to Bell.