“U20 (Kim) Ji-soo is my role model…I will surpass him,” says Yoo Min-joon at AFC U17 Asian Cup
“My role model is Kim Ji-hyung because we play the same position and I really want to play for Seongnam FC. But my goal is to surpass (Kim) Ji-hyung!”
On March 31, Seongnam FC U18 Yoo Min-jun was named to the final roster for the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U17 Asian Cup. Yoo’s strengths are his big frame and defensive buildup. Yoo was born in 2006 and is currently a 17-year-old defender for Seongnam FC U18. He has been with the club since the Seongnam FC U15s.
He has been with Seongnam FC U18 head coach Kim Geun-chul since U15, and under his tutelage, Yoo has been enjoying a golden period, reaching the quarterfinals of the Baekwoongi High School Football Tournament in February and tying for third place, as well as finishing runner-up in the Gyeonggi-do Governor’s High School Selection Tournament and reaching the quarterfinals of the National High School Football Tournament.
Yoo’s role model is South Korea U20 national team defender Kim Ji-soo. Kim has been playing in the K League 2 with Seongnam FC since last season. She is currently competing at the 2023 FIFA U20 World Cup, where she helped South Korea reach the quarterfinals. There have even been rumors of a move to the European big leagues.
“I played with (Kim) Ji-hyung in the U15 and U18 teams,” Yoo said. I saw how he was able to lead the defense, use both feet, and handle the ball well, and I wanted to imitate how he was able to perform well in a professional team and not be nervous even though he was the same age,” Yoo said. “He’s a role model, but it’s a goal I want to surpass,” he added.
Yoo Min-jun cited teamwork as one of the strengths of the Seongnam U18 team. “The coach always emphasizes that we need to play with initiative, stability, and intelligent passing. Off the field, 메이저놀이터 the coach treats us like friends, which gives us a sense of belonging, and because we are a one-man team, we get good results,” he explained.
Yoo Min-joon, who was called up to the U17 national team for training amidst a busy tournament and league schedule, said, “We had a lot of tournaments this year and it was an important time, but I couldn’t help the team much. I was called up to the U17 national team even during the tournament, so it was physically difficult, but I thought of Seongnam the most,” he apologized.
“I’m grateful to U17 national team coach Byun Sung-hwan for giving me a great opportunity, and I’m very grateful to coach Kim Geun-chul and the coaching staff for their generous advice and teaching since I was 15 years old, and to the club for their support. This is a once-in-a-lifetime tournament and we are aiming to win the title after 21 years together, so we will do our best to stay in Thailand for a long time.”
The AFC U17 Asian Cup will be held in Thailand from June 11 to July 3. Yoo will leave the country on June 10 and will play his first match against Qatar on June 16 at 21:00 at Pathum Thani Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.