Rice Dink (Rice + Hiddink), Vietnam Papa… . Former Vietnamese national soccer team coach Park Hang-seo (66, photo)’s nickname suggests the leadership he showed for Vietnamese soccer. He was recently selected as the winner of the 17th Pony Chung Innovation Award. This award, named after the nickname “PONY 鄭 (Pony Chung),” of the late Hyundai Motor Company founder and honorary chairman Jeong Se-young of HDC Group (formerly Hyundai Development Company), is given to those who have made positive changes in society through innovative thinking.
Former coach Park, who I recently met in Seoul, said, “I heard the news of the award first from the president of the Korea Football Association, Chung Mong-gyu,” and said, “It is an honor to receive this award for the first time as a soccer person.” Waving his hand at the words that he even played the role of a civilian diplomat with outstanding leadership, former director Park said, “I went to Nha Trang, Vietnam a few days ago and lectured to 200 elementary, middle and high school principals and received the same question. I replied no. I was already in my 60s, and I was coaching in the 3rd division, so at first I just went with the mindset to endure for about a year.”
However, former coach Park spent 5 years and 4 months in Vietnam, where no foreigner had held a managerial position for more than 8 months before that. In the meantime, Vietnam’s FIFA ranking, which was in the top 140, rose to double digits while achieving achievements such as winning the Suzuki Cup, the first quarterfinals of the Asian Cup, and the first to advance to the World Cup finals.
Former coach Park said, “Time does not wait for you, so I followed Guus Hiddink’s words to focus on maximizing the use of available resources rather than nurturing.” Park, who found a problem in the existing system, where everything was left to one manager, persuaded the Vietnam Football Association to hire equipment managers, massage therapists, and analysts. He asked coach Hong Myung-bo, who was in charge of the Korea Football Association at the time, to bring in an analyst for the Korea Football Association. He trained coaches for 3 nights and 4 days.
He did the same with football tactics. Considering the characteristics of a Vietnamese player with good technique and agility instead of his small physique, he chose a 3-back tactic instead of a 4-back with 2 central defenders, and when he had the ball, he attempted a quick attack. “At first, there was criticism about why I used the old-fashioned 3-back, but after the results came out, no one was arguing with me about the formation,” an explanation followed.
Of course, it is a change that could not have been made without gaining trust. Former coach Park said, “It is the same for players to evaluate the leader as a member of the organization. It is an organization of almost 50 people including the players and staff. Even if they are strict on the field to make them into a ‘one team’, the Vietnamese culture after training is over. I tried to respect the rules and customs and treat the players like a father or an older brother.”
To this end, former coach Park directly discussed with the players what the spirit of Vietnam was, and then organized it into four things: unity and pride, cleverness and fighting spirit. He also shared specific rules of life with the players, such as prohibiting cell phone use during mealtime, unifying clothes, prohibiting team slander through social network services (SNS), and keeping time. Director Park said, “Because of the strong Confucian culture of Vietnam, we also had the same sentiments in the 1970s and 1980s, so it was made in consideration.”
In addition to discipline, it is explained that trivial matters such as meals and sleeping were rather important in building human trust. Former coach Park said, “I had a meal on the first day, so I asked for the same Vietnamese food as the players because they prepared food separately. I looked back.
Although they had a beautiful breakup,바카라 Park’s aspiration is that he will now pay attention to fostering soccer talent. The first step is the youth soccer school that will open locally on June 1st. Former coach Park said, “That day is Children’s Day in Vietnam,” and expressed expectations, saying, “As it is a young country that is said to grow 6.7% next year, football will also grow rapidly.”