Seoul Eland, hungry for promotion to the K League One, has just the card it needs. Kim Do-gyun (46), who led Suwon FC to promotion and retention.
The appointment of Kim is imminent. It’s not a done deal yet. On the 11th, Kim met with Suwon FC president Choi Soon-ho to thank him for believing in him, and then to tell him he was up for the challenge. Choi wanted him to stay with the club next season, but he respected Kim’s wishes. On the 12th, the preparations for the farewell continued, and the official announcement was made: “We are ending a beautiful four-year partnership. After finalising his parting with Suwon FC, Kim will sign a final contract with Eland after finalising the details.월카지노
The club has wanted Kim for more than a year, and their only goal is promotion. The club has been in the K League 2 since 2015 and has aimed for promotion every season, but has been unable to achieve it for nine seasons. Starting with the first head coach, Martin Rennie, the club has had nine different coaches, including Park Gun-ha, Kim Byung-soo, In Chang-soo, Kim Hyun-soo, Jeong Jung-yong, and Park Chung-gyun, but they have failed to win promotion until this year. The club has only reached the playoffs once in its first year, let alone promotion.
The club saw Kim as the right man for the job. Kim had led Suwon FC to a surprise promotion in his first year in charge in 2020. He then went on to lead the team to three seasons in the K League One with a strong attacking style of football. In 2021, he led Suwon to a fifth-place finish, the highest in the club’s history. Lee Land made contact with Kim last winter, and while they were quite aggressive, he politely declined the offer. Lee Land appointed Park Chung-gyun, and the results were disastrous. The team finished 11th in the 2023 season.
Deciding not to go with Park, the team approached Kim again. He made a genuine offer. But Kim turned down the offer. Suwon FC was facing relegation at the time. Not knowing if Kim’s contract with Suwon FC was still in place, Lee Land also took a step back. Kim was only focused on Suwon FC. He was only thinking about staying up. Rumours were flying, but Kim was able to take control of the squad. He rallied the players and set the tone, eventually leading them to a dramatic 5-2 reverse in the second leg of the relegation play-off against Busan I-Park.
Afterwards, the club approached Kim again. Kim was torn between staying at Suwon FC and moving to Eland. For him, staying with Suwon was the better option in terms of money and cause. In terms of immediate salary alone, Suwon FC outbid Lee Land. Suwon FC was the team that gave Kim his debut, especially Choi. With the departure of Kim Hogon and the arrival of Choi, there was a lot of talk about his relationship with Kim. But contrary to expectations, Kim and Choi had a good relationship.
Here’s an anecdote. Kim visited Choi at the end of the season to tell him about his departure. Although he had the responsibility and confidence to keep the team in the league, he was not surprised to be fired, so he brought up the subject first. Choi put his trust in Kim, and Kim was rewarded by staying in the first team.
After the move, Kim continued to think about the situation and concluded that both Suwon FC and himself needed a change. “I would like to thank the club for giving me the opportunity to work with them for four years by offering me the job of professional team manager in 2019, and I would like to apologise to the club for the difficult situation they faced this season,” said Kim. “Therefore, I would like to step down as head coach as I believe new changes are needed for the club, which is entering its fourth year in the K League 1.” Kim himself also decided that he needed to go back to the drawing board. He decided to go back to his roots and dream of making a bigger leap with Eland.
Lee Land succeeded in embracing Kim. The team, which has never had a special colour, is hoping that Kim’s attacking style of football, which he showed at Suwon FC, will take root. The most important goal is still promotion. This is the first time the club has entrusted a coach with promotion experience. The expectations are high for Kim. Kim is so determined to get promoted that he even cut his contract short if he doesn’t get the job done early on.