South Korea call up fledglings to squad

July 28, 2006

SEOUL, July 28 (Reuters) - Dutchman Pim Verbeek, the new coach of South Korea, has named nine uncapped players in a provisional squad of 36 for an Asian Cup preliminary game, officials said on Friday.

Verbeek, who replaced compatriot Dick Advocaat last month, said he wanted to see what some of his younger players can do in the match against Taiwan on Aug. 16, the Korean Football Association said on its Web site.

Several of the players who took part in South Korea's campaign at the World Cup in Germany were not available for the Asian Cup game. There are three overseas-based players in the squad - Kim Dong-jin and Lee Ho from Zenit St. Petersburg and Cho Jae-jin of Shimuzu S-Pulse in Japan's J-League.

Goalkeeper Lee Woon-jae is not available because of a back injury.

'I want to see what the younger generation can do,' said Verbeek, who will trim the squad to 20 a week before the game.

Verbeek said when he took the job last month he wanted to close the gap between Asian powerhouse South Korea and some of the world's best teams.

Formerly Advocaat's assistant, Verbeek too over after his compatriot resigned following Korea's first-round elimination from the World Cup.