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Seol joins South Korean coaching set-up

The Korea Football Association have appointed former Fulham forward Seol Ki-hyeon as assistant coach to national team manager Uli Stielike, the KFA said on Monday.

Seol was part of the 2002 World Cup squad that reached the semi-finals on home soil, scoring the equalizer against Italy in the last 16 before Ahn Jung-hwan gave the Koreans a stunning 2-1 win with a ‘golden goal’.

South Korea’s qualification campaign for the 2018 World Cup finals under German Stielike has been far from plain sailing, and while they are second in Group A behind Iran they are just a point ahead of Uzbekistan in third.

The top two from Groups A and B qualify automatically for the World Cup in Russia while the third-placed teams will meet to decide who goes into a CONCACAF-Asian Zone playoff for a place at the finals.

KFA technical director Lee Yong-soo said they had been looking for a coach from Europe to fill the vacancy left by Shin Tae-yong, who took over the under-20 squad late last year, but were unable to find a suitable replacement.

“We contacted several coaches from Europe but couldn’t agree conditions and since we couldn’t afford to spend more time looking we chose from a pool of domestic coaches,” Lee said in a statement.

“Having spent much of his career in Europe, Seol will be able to understand how a foreign manager works. He also brings a lot of football knowledge and experience to the table and this will be a big help to Stielike.”

Seol spent the early part of his career in Belgium with Royal Antwerp and Anderlecht before moving to England, where he played for Wolves, Reading and Fulham. He played for the national team for 10 years, winning more than 80 caps.

At Fulham he played 18 times in his first season but his opportunities in the following seasons declined. He played 6 times in 2008/2009 and 5 times in 2009/2010 before he was released.

Seol after Fulham exit

Seol Ki-Hyeon is hoping for a move away from Fulham this month but has ruled out a return to his native South Korea.

Sky say the former Reading forward was placed on the transfer list last month by Roy Hodgson signalling that he was surplus to requirements at Craven Cottage. Seol, who only played five games in the last calendar year for Fulham, is keen to find regular football to ensure that he goes to the World Cup with South Korea in the summer and his management company seem confident of finding him a spot with another Premier League or European side.

Seol is on the club’s clear-out list and he has been the subject of several transfer rumours, but there are no concrete offers at this stage. We will find another Premier League team for him or one from another European League. We are not considering a transfer to Korea

Seol in South Korea squad

Seol Ki-Hyeon has been named in the South Korea squad for their international friendly against Australia on September 5.

Korean coach Huh Jung-moo added Seol to his provisional squad despite being worried about his lack of first-team football for Fulham.

Even though Seol has been having a tough season trying to become a starter, playing in the English Premier League is totally different from playing in the K-League. Even though Seol has been having a tough season trying to become a starter, playing in the English Premier League is totally different from playing in the K-League.

Seol, who came on as a late substitute in Russia last night, could line-up against his club team-mate Mark Schwarzer in the Seoul clash.

Always believe in your Seol

The Korea Times heralds Seol’s return from Saudi Arabia.

His agent seems to grasp that the forward might just be in the last chance saloon.

Seol really wants to try again. He also knows that this could be his last chance.

I’d disagree with the premise of the article. Seol had a fairly decent run in the side before Andy Johnson was fit to be paired with Bobby Zamora. He has his detractors, who were astonished that he was chosen ahead of more natural partners for Zamora, but the Korean actually made a good start to the season – heading in our first goal of the campaign. But, despite a good performance in the next game against Arsenal, Seol didn’t really make the most of his opportunity and drifted down the pecking order.

The writing was on the wall when Hodgson allowed Seol to return to his homeland for a spell in the middle of the season and the ease with which a loan switch to Al-Hilal, for whom he scored just once in 26 matches, was suddenly finalised suggestion that he didn’t feature in Hodgson’s future plans. But to say the manager barely gave him a chance is rather disingenious. He might get another look with the added games in Europe that Fulham may have to play, but I would be very surprised if he’s not looking for a new club soon.

Hull keen on Seol

Hull are hoping to sneak a deal for Fulham winger Seol Ki-Hyeon in before the end of the transfer window, according to Sky Sports.

Phil Brown was impressed with the South Korean international, who scored Fulham’s goal in their opening day defeat at the KC Stadium, and believes the 29 year-old’s ability to play in a number of midfield positions will add to his squad depth. Seol struggled to make an impact at Craven Cottage in his first season after signing from Reading – making just twelve appearances – but he has played in all three of Fulham’s games this season.

He had been linked with a move away this summer but Brown will need to convince Hodgson and the Fulham hierarchy to let Seol leave before the close of play today.