Choe Kwang Sok (pictured), former manager and head coach of the Naegohyang women’s football team, writes a book on football.
“Women’s football saw a rapid rise in the DPRK in the 2000s. It is largely credited to Choe Kwang Sok, former head coach of the DPRK’s junior women’s football team,” said Kim Chol Ung, department director of the DPRK Football Association.
Choe is said to have learned to play football first from his father who was a soccer coach.
He was active as a football player of the then Pyongyang Municipal Sports Club, but he gave up his playing career at a young age owing to a knee injury.
“It really broke my heart to think that I should bid my farewell to football, which was my dream and whole life,” he recalled.
He made up his mind to achieve his dream of bringing honour to his country as a player of the DPRK national team by becoming a football coach.
He took charge of the women’s football team of the then Pyongyang Municipal Sports Club and coached it to a local power after years-long painstaking efforts. And he became the head coach of the junior women’s football team of the DPRK from December 2003.
“In a word, Choe Kwang Sok was strong in grip. He made little concessions in the training and argued for tenacious and attack-oriented game tactics. Under his guidance we developed a must-win game spirit and passed through the stage of rigorous physical and technical training,” said Kim Kyong Hwa, former player of the junior women’s football team who is now women’s football coach of the April 25 Sports Club.
He coached the DPRK women soccer players to a series of successes on the Asian and world fronts. Its junior women’s football team came third and second at the second and third Asian junior women’s football championships respectively and won the fourth Asian junior women’s football championships and the third world junior women’s football championships.
He received the Asian top coach prize in 2006 and the gold star coach prize from the Asian Football Confederation in 2010.
A DPRK Labour Hero and People’s Athlete, he worked as manager and head coach of the Naegohyang women’s football team, before retiring in 2019.