Reporter Lee Jeong-bin = “I take on a lot of responsibility as I am appointed in the middle of the season. “As a coach, I will do my best to help the team achieve the K-League 2 championship and K-League 1 promotion that all fans are looking forward to,” said coach Jeong Jeong-yong, who was appointed as the new head coach of
Gimcheon Sangmu at the end of May, and made a strong pledge in his first interview after taking office. He, who created the legend of the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup finals, is demonstrating his leadership again in Gimcheon.
This season, Gimcheon is the most likely candidate for promotion among the 13 teams in K League 2. Last January, star players with national team experience such as Cho Young-wook, Lee Sang-min, Yoon Jong-gyu, and Won Doo-jae enlisted, and the existing resources are also players who can be called the best in K League 2. For K-League 2 teams dreaming of promotion, Gimcheon’s departure was nothing short of a ‘nightmare’.
However, at the beginning of the season, Gimcheon did not perform as well as expected. Head coach Sung Han-soo served as acting head coach and led the team, but it fell victim to one series of upsets and was slow to advance to the top rankings. In a situation where concerns were growing, Gimcheon asked coach Jeong Jeong-yong for a helping hand, and coach Jeong Jeong-yong accepted.
When coach Jeong Jeong-yong took office, Gimcheon ranked 6th in the league. Moreover, the team’s main players, Ji-Hyun Kim and Young-Jae Lee, were discharged from the military, making it inevitable that their strength would deteriorate. Coach Jeong Jeong-yong, who took charge of Gimcheon, first sat in the headquarters seat rather than the bench in the first game away to the Jeonnam Dragons and got to know the team.
Afterwards, he began taking on duties in earnest starting from Ansan Greeners home games. Against Ansan, Gimcheon gave up the first goal in the first half, but later achieved a valuable victory with Cho Young-wook’s multiple penalty kicks and Lee Jung-min’s dramatic goal. Coach Jeong Jeong-yong revived Gimcheon’s forgotten spirit from the first game he took charge of.
Gimcheon, which had 8 wins (2 losses) in 10 games since the Ansan game, showed itself as an ‘absolute top tier’. At the center of it all was the performance of the offensive line. After taking office, coach Jeong Jeong-yong assigned Jo Young-wook to the role of front-line striker, and placed Lee Jun-seok and Kim Hyun-wook on the left and right flanks. Side resources with an advantage in speed, such as Kim Min-jun and politicians, were used as ‘joker’ cards that could change the game.
Cho Young-wook, who met coach Jeong Jeong-yong again after the U-20 World Cup, solved his problem of goal-scoring ability, which had been his weak point, by scoring two days in a row. He showed off his changed appearance by scoring in 7 consecutive games, tying the K League 2 record. Lee Jun-seok, who showed potential in Incheon, played an important role as an assistant scorer. Lee Jun-seok, who had only played in 3 games before coach Jeong Jeong-yong was appointed, hit a career high by scoring 5 goals in 16 games after coach Jeong Jeong-yong arrived.
Kim Min-jun and Politician also showed efficient scoring ability in limited playing time. In particular, the politician played the game of his life by scoring the club’s first hat trick in the 33rd round of the league against FC Anyang. Gimcheon’s firepower, which many expected at the beginning of the season, began to ignite.
Gimcheon’s upward trend did not happen in vain. After Coach Jeong Jeong-yong took office, the players revealed that there was a lot of change in their ‘mental strength’. Lee Sang-min, Gimcheon’s key defender, said, “The thing I heard the most, both internally and externally, was that Sangmu players lack earnestness and fighting spirit compared to players from other teams. “I think a lot of those issues have been resolved since the director came,” he said.
As Lee Sang-min said, Gimcheon’s mentality has changed significantly since coach Jeong Jeong-yong took office. He maintains his tension and concentration until the final whistle blows and runs one step further to score at least one more goal. He proved that part, scoring in second-half stoppage time in the last three games in a row.굿모닝토토
Coach Jeong Jeong-yong calmly goes to the press conference even after a big win. Each time, he was not excited about victory even for a moment and immediately focused on the next game. Coach Jeong Jeong-yong, who awakened Gimcheon’s ‘undefeated’ spirit of not losing even if it means death, aims for promotion to K-League 1.