I want to show the people of Gangwon Province exciting football.”
Gangwon FC coach Choi Yong-soo is aiming to advance to the Final A for the second year in a row. However, this season is not expected to be easy. Ulsan Hyundai and Jeonbuk Hyundai are still in good shape, and FC Seoul and Suwon Samsung, which were sluggish last season, also reinforced their strength. Coach Choi Yong-soo also predicted, “I think this season will be a really tough season.”
Gangwon’s power this season is not much different from last season. Unlike other teams that focused on strengthening their strength, they only recruited three players: Yoo In-soo, Kim Woo-seok, and Alibayev. However, we are looking forward to the return of Dino, Han Young-young, and Ji-hoon Kang, who suffered long-term injuries last season. Director Choi Yong-soo said, “It is true that there is a shortage of recruits, but I want to show a more upgraded image that does not easily lose.”
As the team he really wants to win this season, he picked his natural enemy, Ulsan Hyundai. Director Choi said, “If the jinx is prolonged, it will put pressure on the team. This year, whether home or away, I want to win at least one game.” Regarding Kim Dae-won and Yang Hyun-joon, who were very active last year, “I don’t want more. I hope you do as much as last year.”
The following is the full text of the interview with director Choi Yong-soo.
■ Impressions ahead of the season = Last year’s luck was good, and the results exceeded expectations. The first goal this year is to challenge to advance to Final A. I want to repay the residents with a good performance that can inspire, hope, and dream. Athletes are working hard to achieve their goals. A very difficult year is expected, but I want to enjoy it and show myself doing my best.
■Are you satisfied with the recruitment this season? = All coaches will want to have a good squad. We recruited Kim Woo-seok, Yoo In-soo, and Alibayev. It’s true that it’s lacking, but I want to show a more upgraded image with a challenging spirit and not easily defeated. It seems that there is anticipation, excitement, fear, etc.
■ There seems to be a difference in attitude between last season and this season when we escaped from the relegation crisis = It seems to be true that the expectations of the people have risen. In terms of content, last year was too passive, and attacked fairly simply. Also, looking back at the conceding scene, I would like to calmly point out that we were not capable of advancing to Final A. Since the first battery training, I have been focusing on making up for this shortcoming.
I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I will take each game seriously. We expect it to be a tough season, and we will put our energy into making it even better. I don’t know if it will work, but I’m trying to show an upgraded image in terms of content. The players are spending time normally, and we will repay the passion of the people by strengthening unity.
■How are Dino, Young Hankook, and Jihoon Kang who were injured last year = Dino, who was recruited with high expectations, suffered an unexpected long-term injury, and the team was having a hard time. Key players such as Han Kook-young and Kang Ji-hoon were also injured. There will be about 10 games played with the composition of the players the coach wants. Fortunately, the players persevered well with the thought that I was the starting player. Han Young-young and Ji-hoon Kang joined the training for the first time today. Dino had a one-year hiatus, so he is currently in about 60% condition. His game sense and stamina are not normal. I believe that the players will do well because they are brainwashing the current players into saying that they are the starting players. If the three players who were injured get back to normal condition, they will be able to play with a good squad.
■CEO Kim Byeong-ji said at the inauguration press conference that the first five games are important = The flow of the first half is important, but I have the bad nickname of ‘slow starter’. The beginning of last year wasn’t good either. CEO Kim’s story is being listened to as a message to work hard. It is true that all coaches know that the first five games are important, but even if a crisis comes in the beginning, it is our job to overcome it well. Even if there is a crisis in the beginning, I don’t want to make excuses. Because I experienced it every year, I want to see one season rather than the beginning.
■Are you feeling unmotivated by watching Incheon advance to the Asian Champions League (ACL)? = After advancing to the Final A last year, I asked the players to go beyond their limits, but what I have been doing for 14 years did not change in an instant. But opportunities like this don’t come often in football life. When you have a chance, you have to go beyond your limits, and I and the players should feel more about that. I had time to deeply reflect on myself because I could have played in the ACL even if I only won two more games last year. Forgetting the past and having no regrets, all I can do now is think about what kind of gift I will give to the people of the province through exciting football. 바카라
■Last year, where did you decide that Gangwon FC was not a team to advance to the Final A? = Last year, when it was difficult to build a squad due to the departure of key players, it was often seen that the opposing team wanted to win against us. As the opposing team increased the proportion of attack, the strategy was modified to counterattack after the player defense, and as the game continued, the opponent’s space increased. That part hurt my pride.
Also, there were only 3 matches last year that were satisfactory in terms of content. We spend a lot of time upgrading the content. I won’t be satisfied with advancing to Final A, but I shouldn’t be in a hurry. If I calmly stick to the basics and play as promised, I wonder if I will get a good report card after the season ends.
■Daejeon Hana Citizen, whom we met in the promotion playoffs two years ago, is our opponent for the opening game = From a positive perspective, it seems to be an issue in the K-League. I just think that as a leader, I have to bring grades. We have to be better at what we have prepared than our opponents. It’s different from two years ago. I want to respect them as a 1st Division team, and they are a very competitive team. I don’t think it’s a pro’s attitude for the fans to have a normal confrontation.