The Jakarta Post
The newly hired head coach for Indonesia’s national soccer team, Shin Tae-yong from South Korea, has vowed to address the poor physical fitness of his players to better prepare them for a string of upcoming matches.
The 50-year-old signed a four-year contract with the Soccer Association of Indonesia (PSSI) on Friday.
Shin, who was officially introduced by the PSSI on Saturday, said he had discussed the matter with the national team’s former acting coach, Indra Sjafri.
Most of Indonesia’s national soccer players, he quoted Indra as saying, had a major fitness problem.
And to fix the problem, Shin said he planned to bring in a physical trainer from South Korea who had World Cup experience.
Good physical fitness, he continued, was the foundation for soccer players to build their skills, stay focused on the game and maintain a fighting spirit.
Hopefully, a combination of these elements can turn Indonesia into a soccer champion, he added.
At Saturday’s press conference, which was streamed live on the association’s website, pssi.org, Shin said he saw potential in the Indonesian squad.
“Although the team lost in all five [qualifier] matches [for the 2022 World Cup], I still saw hope in the team,” Shin said via a translator. “[The PSSI] has opened their heart to me, so I did the same in return by accepting their offer to coach the national team.”
Indonesia was left at the very bottom of 2022 World Cup qualifiers without a single victory in five matches. The Red-and-White squad will have three remaining qualifiers next year, namely against Thailand on March 26, the United Arab Emirates on March 31 and Vietnam on June 4.
Shin’s main task now is to bring out the squad’s best performance in matches for the Asian Football Confederation’s qualifiers.
In the long term, Shin will prioritize the Under-20 squad as Indonesia is to host the U-20 FIFA World Cup in 2021.
The PSSI officially introduced Shin after the final match of Liga 1 Putri, the national women’s soccer league, at Pakansari Stadium in Cibinong, Bogor regency, West Java.
Shin will be supported by a team of local coaches, who PSSI chief Mochamad Iriawan said knew the national players better, reported Antara news agency.
PSSI’s decision to appoint Shin as the new head coach received positive responses from fans who said the move was a promising step for Indonesian soccer, pointing out that Shin had gotten South Korea to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and knock down defending champion Germany in the group stage.