Guam – Outfitted in new Diadora coaching gear, Coach Sang Hoon Kim immediately made his presence known during the first training session for the Guam U14 Girls national team at the Guam Football Association National Training Center.
Kim directed and demonstrated technical drills to an impressionable group of girls, many of whom met him for the first time; however, for many of the girls’ older counterparts who’ve come up through GFA’s national program over the years, Kim’s return to Guam was a welcome surprise.
“We are excited to bring back Coach Kim to our national program,” said GFA President Richard Lai. “He played an instrumental role in the development of many local athletes who have recently been called up to Guam’s senior teams – the Matao and the Masakåda – for international competitions. He is a welcome addition to GFA’s technical department, headed by director Gary White and supported by Cheri Stewart and the national coaches.
“We hope that with his wealth of coaching experience – from the youth level all the way to the professional club level – he will assist with current programs to mold the next generations of elite football athletes in Guam,” Lai added.
[Coach Sang Hoon Kim claps to set the pace during a warmup exercise with players training in hopes to earn a spot on the Guam Women’s national team roster for 2014. Kim returns to Guam Football Association as the Assistant Technical Director and head coach of the Masakåda, Guam women’s national team and youth national teams after coaching professional club Ulsan Hyundai FC in Korea Republic for four years.]
Kim first came to Guam in 2006 and was placed at the helm of the women’s and youth national teams until 2009 during which he also earned his AFC Professional Coaching Diploma, the highest coaching license in Asia. Kim returns to GFA in 2014 as the assistant technical director and will be the head coach of the Masakåda, Guam women’s national team, and Guam’s youth national teams.
“Guam Football Association has made many great improvements in the time I was in Korea,” Kim said. “First, the facility – it’s a tremendous change from when I was in Guam the first time. It’s very modern and world-class. Second, the structure of the organization has grown, which will greatly help the development of the game in Guam.
[ Coach Sang Hoon Kim claps to set the pace during a warmup exercise with players training in hopes to earn a spot on the Guam Women’s national team roster for 2014. Kim returns to Guam Football Association as the Assistant Technical Director and head coach of the Masakåda, Guam women’s national team and youth national teams after coaching professional club Ulsan Hyundai FC in Korea Republic for four years.]
“I look forward to contributing what I can to help Guam’s teams. Particularly for women’s soccer, in the four years I have been away from Guam, I’ve felt that something has been missing and I would really like to help contribute to the upward development of the women’s program. I also want to contribute greatly to youth development – to directly work with the players to improve their skills and team tactics – those are my goals in my second time here in Guam,” Kim added.
Kim left Guam in 2010 after accepting a first team coach position for Ulsan Hyundai FC, one of the most decorated professional clubs in the K-League in Korea Republic. Kim was part of the coaching staff in 2012 when the team was crowned champions of the AFC Champions League, the premier club competition in the Asian continent. The team also earned the tournament’s Fair Play Award in the same tournament. Korea Republic currently holds the most AFC Champions League titles – 10 total by six different clubs – double the amount from Japan’s J-League.
[Coach Sang Hoon Kim calls for a player to receive the ball during a soccer drill with players training in hopes to earn a spot on the Guam Women’s national team roster for 2014. Kim returns to Guam Football Association as the Assistant Technical Director and head coach of the Masakåda, Guam women’s national team and youth national teams after coaching professional club Ulsan Hyundai FC in Korea Republic for four years.]
“For us to recruit such an experienced coach into our program speaks volumes for our recent success and development,” said Gary White, GFA technical director. “We have brought Sang Hoon Kim in to raise the level of our Women’s national team and youth national team programs. These programs need to be placed on the same upward trajectory as the Matao, our Men’s national team. As Technical Director, I am excited to work closely with Sang Hoon Kim and to see him and our Women’s & youth programs flourish.”
After his professional contract with Ulsan Hyundai ended in December 2013, he decided to come back to GFA full-time, primarily because of his familiarity with the local football community, which has made for an easier transition, he said. Before moving into the coaching profession, Kim was a Korea Republic national team defender, playing in World Cup qualifiers among other international tournaments.
Kim has two particular experiences from his first time in Guam etched into his memory – taking Guam’s U19 Women’s national team to the AFC U19 Women’s Championship qualifier in Chinese Taipei in 2006, and also taking Guam’s U16 national team to the AFC U16 Championship qualifier in Hebei, China in 2009, he said.
In 2006, Guam’s U19 women’s team had a strong showing in its group, crushing rival Hong Kong 3-1. Joi Abarintos scored a pair of goals off headers from crosses from current Masakåda captain, Simie Willter. Amber Rabena scored Guam’s other goal.
In 2009, Guam’s U16 men’s team earned the respect of teams in its group. Guam smashed Macau 6-0 with a pair of goals by Scott Spindel and one each from Adam Rivera, Dylan Naputi and Patrick Sotto. Guam’s other goal came on a Macau own goal. Guam led 2-1 at the half against Hong Kong, but eventually dropped the close match 3-2. Spindel and Nicolas Roberto both scored in the contest. Guam also played a tight match against China, P.R., losing only by two goals.
Kim currently is holding training sessions for the Mini Masakåda, Guam U14 Girls national team, the Junior Masakåda, Guam U16 Women’s national team, and the Masakåda, Guam Women’s national team.
For more information, contact the GFA Main Office at 637-4321.