South Korea coach Uli Stielike is looking to unearth some new genuine options for future international tournaments at the 2015 East Asian Cup.
Stielike has picked a 23-man squad with only six players with 10 international appearances and seven yet to make their senior debut for South Korea, with the German’s side set to begin the East Asian Cup against hosts China on Sunday.
South Korea made the final of this year’s Asian Cup, going down 2-1 in the final to hosts Australia, and Stielike hopes to increase the depth of talent at his disposal as he looks to lead his team to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
“Players each have different philosophies on their respective clubs,” he said as quoted by Yonhap News.
“My focus will be on bringing them all on the same page.”
When asked what South Korea’s aim would be for the regional tournament, Stielike said: “I have to wait and see how well they can play.
“With Europe-based players, I had some sort of an idea on what to expect, but it’s different with this team.”
Stielike will rely on the experience of strikers Kim Shin-wook and Lee Jeong-hyeop, who have 29 and 11 caps respectively for their country, while Jang Hyun-soo (16) and Kim Young-gwon (35) will add stability to the midfield and defence in the exclusively Asia-based squad.
South Korea finished third at the East Asian Cup two years ago behind champions Japan and China, with Australia – not featuring this year – in fourth.
China, who were eliminated from the 2015 Asian Cup at the quarter-final stage by Australia, have selected a significantly more experienced squad for this month’s event.
Coach Alain Perrin has included the likes of captain Zheng Zhi (85 caps), Gao Lin (83) and Yu Hai (55) in his troupe.
The last time the two countries met was at the 2013 East Asian Cup and ended in a scoreless draw, while three years earlier China triumphed 3-0 with Yu and Gao scoring the opening two goals.
Both teams played their first World Cup qualifiers on the road to Russia 2018 last month, with Perrin’s men thumping Bhutan 6-0 and South Korea overcoming Myanmar 2-0.
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