“I started from the bottom. I am grateful to Seongnam FC for giving me the opportunity. It is my philosophy to value basic skills and develop good character.”
Seongnam is famous for having a solid youth system. We discovered good players such as Yeon Je-woon, Jeon Jong-hyuk, and Kim Ji-soo, and it was the result of growing up in the youth system established by Seongnam. They are consistently producing good results, and this season, they have players from Poongsaeng High School such as Park Ji-won, Lee Jun-sang, Jang Young-ki, Park Tae-joon, Jeong Myeong-je, and Yang Si-hoo. It is the strength that has supported Seongnam and is the cornerstone responsible for both the present and the future.
The role of head coach Cho Dong-hee, who is in charge of the youngest players in the youth system, stands out. Instructing Seongnam youth under the age of 12 (U-12), they are tasked with leading them to U-15 (under 15 years old) and U-18 (under 18 years old). Furthermore, it also helps to produce professional players. It is said that he is making great achievements by teaching children at U-12 eye level through systematic training.
I was in Seongnam for a long time. He started as a coach for Seongnam’s supply class and was selected as U-12 head coach in 2019 under coach Jeon Seong-wook. When coach Jeon Seong-wook went to coach FC Seoul, he was promoted to U-12 coach through an open test. Along with U-15 coach Lee Sang-yong, he served the longest in Seongnam. He was recognized for his leadership to such an extent that he was selected as the primary representative of the Korea Football Association (KFA).
won several competitions. He won the 2021 Gyeonggi-do dream soccer tournament and rose to the highest place at the 2022 National Elementary Soccer League Dream Growth Festival. The 2021-2022 National Elementary Soccer League ranked 1st in the 4th zone league, but it was an undefeated championship. Although he has no professional experience, he is coach Cho Dong-hee, who is solidifying the foundation of Seongnam with his special passion for youth.
Director Cho Dong-hee revealed his philosophy and direction in a telephone interview with ‘Inter Football’. His affection for Seongnam seemed overflowing, and his strong will was felt even in his voice on the phone.
[Q&A with director Jo Dong-hee]
– Please introduce yourself.
He is the head coach of the Seongnam U-12 team. I have been working in Seongnam since 2016. The leader taught in another team, not from Seongnam, and then came to Seongnam Youth Academy and made a relationship with Seongnam.
– Seongnam is famous for producing good results in the youth stage.
Currently, Poongsaeng High School is a school team belonging to Seongnam. Not U-15 or U-12. The U-12 recruits players through public testing. The children have a strong passion for football. Through public testing, we select good children, select the selected children, color them to suit our team, put on our own coaching system, and follow along, so we seem to be getting good grades.
– If you could tell me the color and strength?
Public test ages vary. There are lower grades and upper grades in elementary school. Guidance system, different for each age. The soccer that emphasizes the build-up is emphasized, and the colors are matched well within it.
The atmosphere in the playground is good. Their strength is that they are selected through tests and are full of fighting spirit. Show pride and confidence in your team on the field. The growth rate is terrifying. Whether it’s training or a game, it clearly instills a sense of purpose for the day. In training, video meetings are held, and session goals are set to increase concentration. Then the players are well aware of it and go out on the field and show good performances.
– How does the training go?
Since I was young, my muscles were in an unfinished stage. First, create a fun atmosphere. Elementary school focuses on basic skills while helping them develop gradually. Sometimes it takes the form of play. It is easy to understand and explains before training and gives accurate recognition.
– They say that one connection is important from youth to professional teams.
I had a meeting with coach Lee Ki-hyung and the coaching staff and had a place to communicate with youth-related stories. He said that it is important to tie them into one category. The club provided a place to communicate, and that alone became an opportunity for me to develop. I often communicate with U-18 coach Kim Geun-cheol and U-15 coach Lee Sang-yong on the subject of work processes for each age group. I feel that this communication has a good influence on the development of Seongnam’s youth.
– How did you try to overcome your lack of professional experience?
It started at the so-called bottom. It’s not flashy like others, so I laid a solid foundation from the start. The will to learn was strong. I worked hard and had a strong will to learn more than others, so I studied a lot. I tried to hit a lot with my body.
My relationship with Seongnam started at Seongnam Academy. I’m continuing from U-10, and I taught passionately and fiercely. There were talented and famous people. Among them, I could have been hidden in the shadows, but I was able to work like this thanks to paying attention and listening to people in similar situations as well as myself. I want to say that I am very happy and grateful to Seongnam.
– What about philosophy?
The importance of basic skills and good character. U-12 is the golden age period. It can be seen as the most important period as a soccer player. It is important to be aware of the basic skills. My theory is that it is impossible to grow as a soccer player if you do not have the right personality no matter how good your skills and functional skills are. Since self-realization is not yet achieved, it helps to have the right personality.
– Please pick a role model.
There are a lot of people who help me, so I’m learning a lot. I would like to pick directors Kim Geun-cheol and Lee Sang-yong as my role models. The two often see each other when working in the field, but when we talk, they are systematic and the data construction is smart, so it helps a lot. There is a lot to learn. I think there are many advantages to having good communication with the directors. I am sure that the direction of youth development has become solid.안전놀이터
When I was the U-12 head coach, I learned a lot from coach Jeon Sang-wook. He currently works as a goalkeeper coach for FC Seoul. He treated the children with sincerity and learned a lot from watching them work hard. I thought, ‘I want to become that kind of director’ while watching not only the children but also the leaders carefully and seeing the leadership.
– What are your personal goals?
The goal is to discover and nurture a lot of good players. I also want to take on a higher age category. I want to go further and become a professional team leader.