Son, Hwang and Park discuss Premier League camaraderie
Son Heung-min’s weekends tend to follow a simple routine: Training on Saturday and games on Sunday. But in the last four months, the Korean forward has added one more weekly appointment to his schedule: Check in on Hwang Hee-chan.
“Our team always plays on Sunday... [Hwang’s] team plays on Saturday,” Son said in a recent interview. “We train on Saturday afternoon. So, whenever I finish training, I check my phone and look for the result of Hwang’s team. I look at the score to see if Hwang has scored.
“That’s the first thing I check. I just hope he’ll play well.”
Tottenham Hotspur forward Son, Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Hwang and retired Manchester United star Park Ji-sung sat down to discuss living and working in England in a special video interview produced by the Premier League. The interview will be broadcast in full on Thursday with selected quotes released early.
In the interview, Son discussed his relationship with Hwang and how it feels to have a friend and national squad teammate — especially a younger one — join him in the Premier League.
“He has talent and I know he is passionate about football,” Son said. “I expect people around Hwang are already giving him pressure and making sure he knows that he is playing in the Premier League. And, he’ll have his own pressure as well. So, I don’t want to put more pressure on him.
“I just hope he plays well and doesn’t get injured. That is the most important thing that I can think of when I see Hwang.”
Park and Son also discussed the former Premier League star’s decision to start pursuing a coaching qualification, with Son asking Park if he plans to transition into coaching soon.
“No, I am not preparing to be a coach,” Park said. “I just want to get a license.”
Park became the first Korean to play in the Premier League when he joined Manchester United in 2005. He played for seven years at Old Trafford and then moved to QPR, playing one season in London before being loaned out when the club was demoted to the second tier. After retiring a year later, Park has remained mainly based in Britain, taking up an ambassador role with Manchester United and most recently returning to QPR to complete a coaching qualification.
“Normally, when you retire as a player, you get to become a coach or a director,” Park said. “But in football, if you don’t have a license, you can’t be a coach. That is why I wanted to learn the process, and what kind of process makes the coach we have and so on, so I simply wanted to see the journey for myself.
“Even if you are not interested in becoming a coach, as a player, I would recommend players to go through the process because I think it really is a good experience for us all.”
The interview with Son, Hwang and Park will be released worldwide on Thursday and broadcast on SPOTV in Korea.
BY JIM BULLEY [firstname.lastname@example.org]