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Spurs in South Korea

Posted on 11 July 2005  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

Continuing our diary item giving you the lowdown on our trip to South Korea to participate in the Peace Cup as we await the arrival of the players on Tuesday...

A bit of a hectic day as the arrival of Martin Jol and the squad nears, a day of many cab rides and facility inspections. In fact, a second visit to the cashpoint is now in order as the advance guard have pretty much spent up on cab fares.

First stop of the day was the Suwon World Cup Stadium which is roughly 45 minutes from our base in Seoul. The steep banked arena - seating 43,923 - is hosting our first two games in Peace Cup 2005 against Boca Juniors on Saturday and Sundowns on Monday.

We were shown around the ground by the stadium manager and, in the walkway leading to the tunnel, there are striking pictures of games played at the venue during World Cup 2002 including one of our own Robbie Keane. Robbie netted the penalty leveller against Spain in the tournament before the Republic of Ireland were eventually eliminated following a shoot-out after extra-time.

The stadium - as appears the norm in South Korea - is an impressive sight and the multi-coloured seating is pretty close to the pitch and a good view will be enjoyed by all. The organisers are expecting a crowd in excess of 25,000 for our opening game.

The home of Suwon Blue Wings also has an area inside the ground in honour of new Manchester United recruit Park Ji Sung. There is a little bit of disappointment that he won't be appearing in the Peace Cup following his switch from PSV Eindhoven to Old Trafford.

On the subject of South Korean stars, readers of yesterday's diary entry may remember mention of FC Seoul striker Park Joo Young who netted a hat-trick against Pohang in the final round of the K-League. I was slightly surprised when picking up my copy of 4-4-2 magazine before slumping into bed to turn the page and see an article on 'Asia's Wayne Rooney'.

He is described as the face of the government's promotional campaign 'Dynamic Korea' - dynamic he is too - and is quoted as saying it is his dream to play in England.

After departure from Suwon we headed to one of our training bases at Seongnam (right) - home of Seongnam IIhwa, who are also taking part in the Peace Cup. It is another spacious arena with a superb pitch.

As it pans out, the lads will also train at the original home of Seongnam IIhwa - known as Stadium 1 (below)- a place where Britain struck gold at the 1988 Olympic Games. It was the location of the hockey final and the names of the British team are engraved on a huge plaque inside the stadium.

We also visited a public sporting centre another 45 minute taxi ride on where members of our Football in the Community team, including freestyler Billy Wingrove, will be running sessions for local school children. Situated in the middle of a residential area, the facility is an excellent one featuring an astroturf pitch and an huge indoor hall where a game of croquet was being played.

Supporters making the trip to South Korea for the Peace Cup will certainly enjoy the experience. From what we have encountered so far, the people are very friendly and extremely helpful and the climate at the moment is not too hot - although there is a bit of rain about as it is the rainy season.

Tomorrow afternoon we head back to Inchon International airport to meet the main group and Martin, along with three players, will host a press conference on arrival. This is when the tour will really kick into gear and we'll bring you all the news and gossip right here.

From Richard Hubbard in Seoul