Advocaat appointed as S.Korea's new coach
SEOUL, Sept 13 (Reuters) - South Korea named former Netherlands manager Dick Advocaat as coach on Tuesday, entrusting their World Cup fortunes to another Dutchman.
Advocaat becomes the third Dutchman in less than five years to take charge of South Korea after Guus Hiddink led the team to the 2002 World Cup semi-finals. Jo Bonfrere guided the Koreans to their sixth consecutive World Cup, in Germany next year.
Bonfrere resigned last month amid intense criticism from media and fans after a series of stuttering performances, culminating in a 1-0 defeat by Saudi Arabia in their final World Cup qualifier.
'Dick Advocaat will lead the South Korean national team from Oct. 1,' KFA media director You Young-chuel said by telephone.
'The contract will run until the end of next year's World Cup finals. There is an option to extend it if both parties agree.'
Advocaat, who led the Netherlands to the Euro 2004 semi-finals, had recently agreed to coach the United Arab Emirates after a short stint at Germany's Borussia Moenchengladbach.
'That contract had been legally terminated,' Lee Hoi-taek, KFA vice president, told a news conference.
Advocaat and assistant Pim Verbeek are due to arrive in Korea on September 29. Verbeek was also Guus Hiddink's assistant during the 2002 World Cup.
'The KFA had considered a South American for the job, but in the end the technical committee decided a European coach would suit the team better,' Lee said.
South Korea has had mixed success with foreign coaches.
While Hiddink took the side to a stunning fourth-place finish at the 2002 World Cup finals on home soil, Bonfrere and his predecessor Humberto Coelho failed to live up to expectations.
Coelho stepped down last year after South Korea suffered a humiliating 0-0 draw with the Maldives in a World Cup qualifier.
The KFA is now confident, however, that it has found a worthy successor to Hiddink.
'By leading the Netherlands on two occasions, Advocaat has proven he can manage at the top level,' said Kang Shin-woo, vice president of the KFA's technical committee.
'We need strong leadership. Advocaat is the right man for the job.'
Reaction in South Korea to Advocaat's appointment was generally positive, though there were conflicting views about his likely tactics.
The Munwha Ilbo newspaper described Advocaat as a 'bullheaded believer in attacking football,' pointing to his development under his compatriot Rinus Michels, the architect of 'total football.'
However, Han Jung-woo, a member of South Korea's Red Devils fan club, said Advocaat was likely to be more defensive in his approach.
'I think he puts too much emphasis on defending, but it's time to give our full support to the new coach.' Han said.