Fancy a friendly against a NK side?

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Holyjoe
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Fancy a friendly against a NK side?

Postby Holyjoe » Mon Sep 30, 2013 8:08 pm

A challenge for one of the expat league teams, surely...

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Hong Kong amateur soccer team take on North Korean professionals
settembre 29, 2013

An amateur Hong Kong soccer team became the first to take on a professional North Korean team in a friendly match in Pyongyang last week – and the first foreign amateur team to play professionals from the hermit kingdom.

The side from Wanchai Spartans FC got off to a strong start and were up 2-0 by half time, but were crushed 5-2 after the break.

“Within the first 20 minutes we had two goals, but then they started bringing on better players,” said Wanchai Spartans’ Richard Cowley, who helped organise the trip. “They were good.”

Cowley wasn’t disappointed with the result, noting the North Korean team was in the equivalent of the English Premier League.

“It was like playing the equivalent of Manchester United, but in North Korea,” said Cowley. “They’re small, nippy players and technically very good. We’re a social team – we drink – and in the end the level of fitness was telling.”

Eleven players from Hong Kong and two of the players’ girlfriends flew to Pyongyang for the three-day trip, organised by Koryo Tours.

“We’ve been running football tours since 2003 and took in a Hong Kong team in 2005,” said Koryo Tours manager Simon Cockerell. “We’ve arranged games against university teams, tour guides – our local partners are very good at finding the right team to play against.”

The North Korean side went by the name “Moranbong Team”, although that was not their real name, which Cockerell said had to be kept confidential.

A couple of staff from the British embassy, some tourists and a handful of well-wishers turned out to watch the match at the National Football Stadium, behind the May Day Stadium – the venue of the annual Mass Games.

Wanchai Spartans have a reputation for enjoying the social side of the sport, and were a little disappointed when the North Korean team turned down their offer of an after-match drink, but they settled for a group photo.

“They don’t drink because they’re professional players,” said Cowley. “They didn’t speak English and we couldn’t speak any Korean, but it didn’t matter – football is a universal language.”

The North Korean national team famously beat Italy 1-0 in the World Cup in England in 1966, but then lost to Portugal in the quarter-finals.

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Re: Fancy a friendly against a NK side?

Postby eujin » Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:30 am

They had to keep the name of the team confidential? That's awesome, maybe it really was Manchester United. :albino:

And what planet is this Cowley bloke living on? “They don’t drink because they’re professional players” :smt101

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Re: Fancy a friendly against a NK side?

Postby daeguowl » Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:50 am

eujin wrote:They had to keep the name of the team confidential? That's awesome, maybe it really was Manchester United. :albino:

And what planet is this Cowley bloke living on? “They don’t drink because they’re professional players” :smt101


I saw an article the other day about their being the possibilty of two ManUres in the Champions league next year cos a club in Gibraltar has that same name and Gibraltar is now a member of UeFA. Of course, Moyes is doing his very best to screw things up...

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Re: Fancy a friendly against a NK side?

Postby daeguowl » Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:24 pm

I actually met someone the other day who participated in the 2005 tour. We had a brief chat about it but couldnt get into detail because of the setting. Maybe next time I run in to him, I'll ask him more.

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Re: Fancy a friendly against a NK side?

Postby weka » Thu Jan 09, 2014 7:07 am

For anyone that doesn't know.. pending the approval of the AFC Executive Committee, clubs from North Korea will participate in the AFC President's Cup starting in 2014 which would be the 2013 DPR Korea League champions...

should be interesting.
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Re: Fancy a friendly against a NK side?

Postby Martyrs Forever » Thu Jan 09, 2014 9:48 pm

My dream of an All-Korea Challengers' League comes closer...

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Re: Fancy a friendly against a NK side?

Postby sjc_three » Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:59 am

Haha :smt082 - do love your posts Martyrs.

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Re: Fancy a friendly against a NK side?

Postby Martyrs Forever » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:42 pm

Didn't you go to the North? Or have I dreamed it?

Mind you....Yangju and the Cabbage Lands aren't that far away...and economically they are worse off...they think the subway is from the devil man...

Paquebot's been purged last I heard! HIs mother-in-law grassed him in as a spy in exchange for a year of free cabbage and a supermarket sweep session at the local turnip market. She bagged 45 white radish in a minute!

He's doing his bus porn outside a Pyongyang gulag now....but there's only one bus....and it has no petrol....and he has no camera....or internet...worst.bus porn.ever.

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Re: Fancy a friendly against a NK side?

Postby paquebot » Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:21 am

Martyrs Forever wrote: Mind you....Yangju and the Cabbage Lands aren't that far away...and economically they are worse off...they think the subway is from the devil man...


What's this 'subway' thing I keep hearing people talk about? Do you mean the long metal dragon that the local shaman warned us about? :?

Martyrs Forever wrote: He's doing his bus porn outside a Pyongyang gulag now....but there's only one bus....and it has no petrol....and he has no camera....or internet...worst.bus porn.ever.


That is the perfect summary of hell right there ...
In Yangju, if your cabbage doesn't understand you and you have valid reason for not eating it, then it is ok to go to other vegetables for your kimchi - though strictly nothing from south of Namyangju. -- Martyrs Forever

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Re: Fancy a friendly against a NK side?

Postby sjc_three » Sat Jan 11, 2014 10:06 pm

Martyrs Forever wrote:Didn't you go to the North? Or have I dreamed it?

Yes, but didn't see anything football related sadly. Tried very hard to persuade our guide to just stop at a couple of stadiums (or even one for that matter) to take a couple of pics but they were having none of it, despite passing several during our time there. Still a fascinating trip, but would love to actually see a game there at some point. The international ones, from what I understand, are relatively easy to organise through one of the tour operators that runs trips there. I've only ever heard of one tour that took in league games, which was 2 or 3 years ago. A Canadian mate of mine went on it. He found it rather a disappointment though. He's not quite as ...er... special as most of the folk on this board, so 3 or 4 games of mediocre football in deserted stadiums wasn't exactly what he had in mind. Strange fellow. Sounds like heaven to me.

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Re: Fancy a friendly against a NK side?

Postby nzfooty » Tue Jan 14, 2014 9:41 am

sjc_three wrote: A Canadian mate of mine went on it. He found it rather a disappointment though. He's not quite as ...er... special as most of the folk on this board, so 3 or 4 games of mediocre football in deserted stadiums wasn't exactly what he had in mind. Strange fellow. Sounds like heaven to me.
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Apologies if that has been posted here before but when I read your comments, it made me think of this article:
North Korea's silent football matches


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