I want them to have good habits; if they want to make it to a higher level, they need to have good habits.


Former South Korean international Cho Byung-Kuk will begin his coaching journey with the South Coast Flame next year.

Cho will coach the under-13s youth boys’.

side in 2022 after a phenomenal playing career representing South Korea at the highest level and achieving many club-level honours during his 17-year career.

His connection to the game began when he was in school up until the South Korean equivalent of year six, he was unable to play the game.

“I wanted to play the game, but I couldn’t play,” he said.

“It was only training.”

Cho played most of his professional career in the K-League 1, the premier competition in South Korea. He captained his nation at the 2004 Olympics and while at Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma, Cho netted a goal in the final of the Asian Champions League in 2010 to help the side lift the trophy.

However, Cho doesn’t consider any of the international highs or trophies lifted to be his greatest achievement on the field – it would instead come by stepping onto the pitch to play alongside his son.

“It was my dream,” he said.

“I was waiting a long time for it.

“Obviously, when I get a title of the K-League or Asian Champions League, of course it is good; but my favourite memory is when I participate [in competitive football] with my son in Australia.”

2022 will be Cho’s first year in a coaching role, as he looks to gain some experience while imparting his professional knowledge in the game.

For Cho, the professional set-up at the Flame and the use of Ian McLennan Park for the club’s training and home matches – where he has spent much of his time playing on Australian shores – were key reasons behind Cho’s decision to coach for the Flame.

“The boys are more focused on training, more serious,” he said.

“I’m very happy in the Illawarra.”

Cho emphasised the importance of the team playing together and for each other as one of the key lessons he wants to teach his squad next year.

“I want them to have good habits; if they want to make it to a higher level, they need to have good habits,” he said.

South Coast Flame has recently announced its youth boys coaching lineup for the 2022 season. With the coaching team preparing to get underway, Cho is hopeful that 2022 will be a fully completed season as opposed to the previous two seasons that were cut short by the pandemic.


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