South Korea's new national training centre looks insanely impressive


The prototype plans for the Korean national football centre in Seoul look very impressive after a closed international competition, UN Studio has been selected as the winner. 

Two stadiums and host of other facilities 

The new national training centre will have two stadiums inside its complexes. One will be outside and the other will be inside meaning whatever the weather conditions, the national team will still manage to train. There will be a dozen other fields and training facilities as well as the two pitches, including running tracks and gyms.

The planned state-of-the-art facilities will be home to the Korean national team and their trainers as well as for future generations of top league players. this includes both the men’s and women’s team and also the youth squads. There is clearly hope that these facilities will help produce better players at all levels across the board, being senior teams, youth teams and women's teams.

The Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam is seen as a model for the Korean national training centre. 

National training centres help to vastly improve a national setup 

Countries who have built and introduced a national training centre, by implementing an identity and a system have all managed to gain relative success over a number of years. Iceland, England, France, Luxembourg are just some countries I know of who have gone down this route and have improved to some degree. South Korea will be hoping that there's can have the same impact in the future.

To the examples, Iceland for years was whipping boys of Europe, that all changed when they decided to create indoor pitches so their youngsters could play all year round. On top of that, they got as many people interested in the sport as possible, and have/or had more qualified coaches than a lot of other European countries as they decided that for a certain number of kids training there had to be a certain number of professionally trained coaches.

This propelled Iceland's golden generation to success by qualifying for the World Cup and the European Championships where they famously knocked out England. Their form has dropped off a bit which can be expected from such a tiny nation, but they remain more competitive than ever and no one will call them whipping boys again.

England had a shocking World Cup in Brazil, failing to defeat Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica and going home looking like complete mugs. After a lot of finger-wagging, it was decided that national identity was needed, and in the last World Cup in Russia England got to the semi-finals for the first time since Italia 90. Some will argue that their route to the semis was pretty easy, but they still got there unlike many a tournament before that. It will be interesting to see how they will cope when a tougher route is thrown at them. The benefits of St Georges Park have been seen though, in getting to that semi, and more good things are expected because of the creation of a national training centre in Burton.

France were nearly boys for most my younger years, which was somewhat similar to Spain, however, France was one of the first countries I heard of that decided to build a national training centre, this was before France 98, and for a few years after that 98 tournaments on home soil, France was a pretty dominant force in World football apart from the embarrassment of Japan and Korea in 2002.

Little is known worldwide about Luxembourg's progress in international football, in my opinion, it has been one of the most remarkable. Going from being hammered 8-0 and such like, to drawing 0-0 in Paris in a qualifier is one of the most superb turnarounds of a national team in my lifetime.

In the few interviews I have seen, they have put a lot of focus on the youth structure, and supporting younger players. They also seem to be managing to entice dual nationals to represent them, which is something that would have been unheard of in the past. Luxembourg may be unlikely to qualify for a World Cup because I believe they may be even smaller than Iceland, but with the new European Championship qualifying rules through the Nations League, they could possibly win a spot at a future Euros.

These are all different examples that Korea could pick the bones of to follow because they have all achieved some level of success in their own way, they have all put structures in place in order to generate that success, but the road to getting there has been slightly different for each nation. There is no doubt that Korea's no centre will give them some level of success too. 

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