Reporter Park Dae-ro = Professional football Pohang Steelers is focusing on strengthening its power in 2023. It is interpreted as a measure following manager Kim Ki-dong’s urging the club to invest after the end of last year’s season.
Coach Kim Ki-dong led Pohang last year and ranked third in the K-League 1 (first division). Coach Kim has led Pohang since April 2019, and has ranked 4th in 2019 and 3rd in 2020. In 2021, it stayed in 9th place in the league, but finished runner-up in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL).
Coach Kim made a heartfelt remark at the K-League awards ceremony in October of last year. He met with reporters and urged the club to invest. Coach Kim demanded investment, player recruitment, and a commitment to better results from the club.
In fact, Pohang spent only 7.7 billion won on player salaries last year. This amount corresponds to the 10th place among 12 K-League 1 clubs. Compared to Jeonbuk, which spent 19.7 billion won, and Ulsan, which spent 17.6 billion won, they spent more than 10 billion won less. In addition, except for Seongnam FC, which is in 11th place, and Kim Cheon Sangmu, which is in 12th place, which is a soccer team of the Armed Forces Sports Corps, which suffers from domestic and foreign exchange, it was in fact the club that spent the least money in K League 1.
Coach Kim, who was hesitant to renew the contract, expressing doubts about the club’s will, finally signed a three-year contract renewal on December 9 last year. And after that, the news of the recruitment of Pohang continued.
Veteran Kim In-seong, who boasts quick feet, and central defender Choi Hyun-woong from Jeonbuk joined the team. Baek Seong-dong, a veteran striker who led Anyang to advance to the K-League 2 playoffs, was recruited. 안전놀이터
Foreign players were also recruited. Following defensive midfielder Oberdan, who played for Brazilian Serie C Figueirense FC, Zeca from Daegu joined. Jeka is an offensive resource that was very active with 7 points and 7 assists in 28 K-League 1 matches last year and 7 points and 1 assist in 7 AFC Champions League matches.
Pohang now has the Brazilian Troika, including Wandelson, Zeca and Oberdan.
Pohang even recruited a coach to manage the players’ stamina.
Physical coach Guilherme Rondon is a veteran coach who has been teaching physical training since 2002. Since 2015, he has been working as a physical coach at K-League clubs such as Gwangju, Seongnam, Jeju, and Daejeon, so he is familiar with life in Korea.
Physical coach Son Dong-min is an academic leader who is pursuing a master’s degree in exercise physiology. Coach Sohn is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese and serves as a bridge between Coach Hondon and the players.
After completing the composition of the team, coach Kim Dae-gun, coach Lee Gwang-jae, coach Lee Kyu-yong, GK coach Park Ho-jin, and physical coach have been training at the Songra Clubhouse since the 3rd.
Attention is focusing on what kind of results Pohang, which is showing off a new aspect based on speedy investment, will lead this year.