Hong Myung-bo’s composure, Kim Sang-sik turned the arrow to Choi Yong-soo… This year, ‘2nd River’ is ‘Hyundai Song’
Hong Myung-bo (54), the manager of Ulsan Hyundai, who is a “haver,” was more relaxed. Jeonbuk Hyundai coach Kim Sang-sik (47), who gave up the position, agonized over Gangwon coach Choi Yong-soo.메이저놀이터
Spring has already come to the green ground. The K League 1 kicks off on the 25th. Defending champion Ulsan and last year’s FA Cup winner Jeonbuk will meet from the opening game. The command towers of 12 K-League clubs ahead of the fierce battle gathered in one place. ‘Hana One Q K League 1 2023 Opening Media Day’ was held at The-K Hotel in Yangjae-dong, Seoul on the 20th.
The fate of a professional is a joy. The starting line is the same. However, the moment the whistle blows, a line is drawn from 1st to 12th. It was said that new wine was put into new wineskins. Each team sweated to joy throughout the winter.
In the 2023 season, the ‘second round’ was also at the top. Each team’s commanders picked Ulsan and Jeonbuk’s ‘Hyundai’s competition to win’ first. When asked about the ‘four-final composition’, the two teams were in different worlds. Nam Ki-il, Jeju coach, said, “Jeonbuk and Ulsan are teams that are on their way to victory.” Seoul coach Ahn Ik-soo also said, “It is clear that Jeonbuk and Ulsan are in the lead.”
Ulsan shook off the sadness of last year’s second place in 10,000 years and ascended to the throne for the first time in 17 years. On the other hand, Jeonbuk failed to win 6 consecutive K-League titles and had to settle for 2nd place. Ulsan lost 2 consecutive times this season, and Jeonbuk is aiming to regain the top spot. Coach Hong Myung-bo calmly said, “The attitude towards the K-League is always the same. Although winning the position is different, I will face this season with a new path and a new challenge attitude rather than defending it.” Jeonbuk coach Kim Sang-sik, who won the treble (K-League, ACL, FA Cup), made use of Gangwon. He pointed out, “Personally, I want Gangwon to beat Ulsan and advance to the semifinals. Last year, I lost 4 times to Ulsan. I want to work hard and advance to the semifinals.” Then coach Choi Yong-soo said, “4 losses in 4 matches is an unacceptable jinx. Coach Sang-sik Kim persistently asked for a lot. I don’t think we need to worry too much this year” and “relieved” Jeonbuk. Ulsan and Jeonbuk were followed by Incheon, Pohang, Jeju and Seoul. Incheon has strengthened its power with ‘Storm Recruitment’, and Pohang’s strength is its strong organizational power. The squads in Jeju and Seoul have also become thicker.
When Jeju director Nam Ki-il said, “All the directors have a difficult face, only director Cho Seong-hwan (Incheon) has changed his hairstyle and has a nice face,” and Incheon director Cho Seong-hwan did not deny it either. He expressed confidence, “It is an honor to be mentioned like this. In fact, it would be a lie if I said there was little pressure. Jeonbuk and Ulsan, then Incheon should be next.”
Pohang coach Kim Ki-dong smiled, saying, “Last year, I didn’t expect Incheon and Pohang to be in the top 4. I think we will compete with each other,” he said cautiously.
The fight between Seoul and Suwon Samsung, the pronouns of the super match, also began. Suwon coach Lee Byeong-geun provoked him by saying, “After Jeonbuk, Ulsan, and Incheon, we talk about Seoul. If Seoul goes up, our stomachs will hurt. We can never lose to Seoul.”
Teams classified as lower ranks also made it clear that they would not become ‘victory vending machines’. Suwon FC coach Kim Do-gyun said, “I will do my best to beat all the winning teams at least once,” and Daegu coach Choi Won-kwon also emphasized, “I will not give up points easily.”
The ‘public enemy’ was Ulsan. On this day, on Media Day, the head coach and one representative of the team were also present. Before this season’s split, each team has to meet three times, and the ‘team I want to win three times’ is by far Ulsan. When Ulsan captain Jeong Seung-hyun first said, “I want to beat Jeonbuk. If we win all 3 games, we get 9 points, that’s how close we can get to the championship.” Hong Jeong-ho of Jeonbuk said, “It’s fun.” He said, “We also want to beat Ulsan. I think it would be great if I could reap it.”
Gangwon’s Lim Chang-woo said, “I’m fed up, but I can’t help it. I’ll do my best to win at least once against Ulsan.” Pohang Kim Seung-dae also said, “I don’t think there is anything I can’t do. East Coast Derby, I’ve been preparing better. Even if it’s not 3 wins against Ulsan, I’ll give it an advantage.” I will do it,” drawing attention.