세라 머리 “북한선수들, 다음 달 4일 평가전 출전”
She says it was a decision that was out of her hands,… but the head coach of Korea’s now-unified women’s ice hockey team says she’ll do what she can to make it work.
The first test for Sarah Murray and her new-look squad will be a pre-Olympics friendly match against Sweden in a couple of week’s time.
Lee Seung-jae has more.
Twenty-three has become 35.
Korea’s women’s ice hockey team head coach Sarah Murray’s first task at leading the first ever joint-Korean team at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics will come on February 4th, when the joint-team hosts Sweden at the Incheon Asian Games Seon Hak International Ice Rink.
What started out as a strategy to leave out just one South Korean player per game,… Murray finds herself in a situation of incorporating unfamiliar North Korean players into her system, and having to cut four of her players for each game.
Despite the difficult task, the 29-year-old head coach has vowed to integrate the new faces into the squad, and play the North Korean players in the upcoming friendly.
“I hope they come as soon as possible, so we can start practicing right away. We’re planning to have them play. They need to have experience playing with our team, and that will be the only game that they’ll be with us before we play in the Olympics.”
With the International Olympic Committee announcing the joint-Korea team must play at least three North Korean players in each game,.. Murray emphasized that playing all twelve North Koreans equally will be impossible, and it’s up to her to create the best lineup at the Winter Olympics.
“It’s my choice what the lineup is. It’s my choice who plays. As far as I know, I have complete control and I am going to play the players I want.”
With time ticking,… a lot of work is left for the American,… as the joint-Korean team will make their Olympic debut on February 10th against the 6th-ranked Switzerland,… before their match up against 5th-ranked Sweden on the 12th… and 9th-ranked Japan on the 14th,… to close off the group stage.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News
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