The 2023 Geumgangdae National Middle School Football Tournament, the gateway to Korea’s soccer prospects, kicked off in Pyeongchang, the nation’s sports town, on the 24th and began a two-week campaign.

The opening ceremony, held on the first day of the tournament at Jinbu-myeon Sports Park A, was attended by Kim Joong-seok, chairman of the Gangwon Minjoo Ilbo, Shim Jae-guk, head of Pyeongchang County, Shim Hyun-jung, head of Pyeongchang County, Hong Chang-pyo, vice chairman of the Gangwon Special Self-Governing Province Football Association, Jeong Jang-ho, superintendent of Pyeongchang Education Support Agency, and Choi Chang-soon, head of NH Pyeongchang County, Gangwon Special Self-Governing Province Representative Ji Kwang-cheon, Pyeongchang County Council Vice Chairman Kim Sung-ki, Pyeongchang County Councilor Nam Jin-sam, Pyeongchang County Sports Chairman Ji Hyung-jin, Jinbu Agricultural Cooperative President Lee Ju-han, officials from the Korea Football Association and Provincial Football Association, players, coaches, and parent supporters attended to celebrate the opening.

In his welcome speech, military chief Shim Jae-guk said, “The Geumgangdae Games has a history and tradition of producing many national and professional athletes.” He added, “I hope the athletes will showcase their skills to the fullest and grow into great athletes in the future. I hope you will also leave good memories in Pyeongchang.”

“There are many names for sports competitions, but ‘Geumgang’ is the most valuable name in Korea, meaning diamond,” said Chairman Kim Joong-seok in his congratulatory remarks. “Under the name of ‘Geumgang,’ I hope you will showcase the skills you have developed and fight fairly.”

In his congratulatory remarks, County Chairman Shim Hyun-jeong said, “Thanks to tournaments like the Geumgangdae, Korea has become a soccer powerhouse that has produced great players like Son Heung-min.” “I hope the players will also become great players through this tournament, and if you have time during the tournament, I hope you can heal by visiting the surrounding tourist spots.”

The tournament will feature 57 teams, including 34 U15s and 23 U14s, competing for the title of “strongest” in their respective divisions.

From this year, the U14 Youth Cup will also be officially sanctioned and awarded to teams and players who have won team and individual awards.

The tournament will be broadcast live from the East Sea on YouTube Gangwon Min TV, with the U15 tournament starting on the 30th and the U14 Youth Cup on the 31st.

The final of the U15 tournament will be held on the 6th of next month, and the final of the U14 Youth Cup tournament will be held on the 5th of next month. 파워볼