“Like my name, I will be the golden bell that opens the semifinals of the World Cup
“I want to lead the team to a position where Korean women’s soccer has never been before.”
The 2023 Women’s World Cup will be held in Australia and New Zealand in July. I recently met coach Colin Bell (62, England), the first foreign coach of the women’s national team, at the Munsu World Cup Stadium in Ulsan to hear about the preparations. Coach Bell took over the helm right after Korea was eliminated in the group stage after losing all three matches during the World Cup in France four years ago. “I’ve been thinking about soccer day and night for the past three years,” Bell said. I haven’t yet completed 100% of the soccer I want to implement. However, it is currently in the process of evolving towards 100%.”
The women’s national team will participate in the Arnold Clark Cup, a four-nation friendly competition that opens in England on the 17th. This tournament is actually a ‘World Cup Mock Test’. Powerful European teams such as England ranked 4th in the FIFA rankings, Italy ranked 17th, and Belgium ranked 20th will participate. Korea (15th) faces Germany (2nd), Colombia (27th) and Morocco (76th) in the World Cup group stage (Group H). Coach Bell said, “This tournament resembles the tight schedule of the World Cup group stage in that three games are played within a week. It will be helpful if you experience an atmosphere similar to the World Cup in advance,” he said. “We need to strengthen our organizational skills while playing against European teams.”
Head coach Bell is a great leader who conquered Europe as the head coach of the women’s professional team. In the 2014-15 season, she coached the German Women’s Bundesliga FFC Frankfurt and led the UEFA Women’s Champions League championship. In the 2013-14 season she won the Pokal (German Football Association Cup)스포츠토토 and also won the Bundesliga runner-up. Even when she was in charge of the Korean national team, she produced outstanding results. Despite not having enough training time due to COVID-19, she finished runner-up, the best performance in Korean women’s football history, at the Women’s Asian Cup last year.
In October 2021, it drew 0-0 in an away evaluation match against the United States, which ranked first in the FIFA rankings, blocking the United States’ 22-game winning streak at home. Coach Bell said, “The speed of each player as well as the ability to digest tactics has greatly improved,” and “the goal is to lead Korea and lift the championship trophy.”
Bell is known for communicating well with her players. She deserves to be called ‘Communication Leadership’. He learned Korean as soon as he took office. He learned conversation and grammar by taking 30-minute Korean lessons two or three times a week. As a result, he communicates with the players in Korean. He sings along with the national anthem during the national competition (A match). ‘High strength’ and ‘no problem’ are his favorite Korean words. When asked, “Are you still memorizing the national anthem?” Director Bell hummed the national anthem, saying, “Until the waters of the East Sea and Mt. Baekdu dry up and wear away.”
He said, “Korean is so difficult that my head hurts after studying for more than an hour. However, in order to become a ‘real member’ of the Korean national team, he learned Korean. Coach Bell approaches the players first during training and throws a joke in Korean. Even the players call him ‘Colin’ and follow him from the first day they met coach Bell.
Coach Bell is currently focusing on collecting information on the opponents of the World Cup. In particular, winning candidate Germany is clearly looking into it. He said, “Most of the German players know the characteristics well by teaching them directly or meeting with the opposing team. Colombia and Morocco are also being thoroughly analyzed.”
At the World Cup in July, Korea will challenge to advance to the round of 16 for the second time in eight years since the 2015 Canadian tournament. But Bell is looking beyond that. He said, “My name, Bell, also means doorbell in English. He pretended to press the doorbell with his index finger, saying, “I will go beyond the quarterfinals of the World Cup and become a ‘golden bell’ that opens the door to the semifinals.”