“Let’s make our players dream big. Let me guide them.”
The FC Seoul match played in Gwangju on the 17th was an important game in many ways. Seoul was the only team that Gwangju failed to score points this season. Since Gwangju was ranked 3rd and Seoul was 4th in the league, the top rankings could change depending on the results of the game. In addition, Gwangju had many players, including Timo, Lee Min-ki, Kim Han-gil, and Jeong Ho-yeon, who could not play due to injuries, disciplinary action, or selection to the Asian Games national team.카지노
Gwangju won. Heo Yul’s first goal, scored 4 minutes into the first half, was preciously saved. As time passed, Seoul pushed harder, but Gwangju held on with its solid organizational power. Goalkeeper Kim Kyung-min also showed his ability to make saves whenever it was important. Seoul recorded 18 shots and 9 effective shots, but was unable to break through Gwangju’s defensive wall. Following Suwon Samsung and Ulsan Hyundai, Gwangju did not concede a goal against Seoul and succeeded in winning three games in a row.
With this victory, Gwangju accumulated 48 points, breaking the club’s record for the most points in K League 1 history. 3rd place in the league was also solidified. They are 4 points behind 4th place Daegu FC and 5 points behind 7th place Incheon United. Although it has not been confirmed yet, it is true that we are in an advantageous position to advance to Final A.
Not many people expected Gwangju to rise this high this season. Despite showing an overwhelming performance in K-League 2 last season, there were many practical concerns such as training facilities, individual player skills, and player base. There was a time when even Coach Lee Jeong-hyo’s words, “Remaining is not the goal” at the K-League 1 opening media day in February this year, sounded like an earnest prayer not to be relegated.
Now, it doesn’t seem strange that Gwangju is at the top. They went undefeated in 10 league games (5 wins, 5 draws), and also won 2-0 against Ulsan, the best team in the league. If we maintain third place in the league, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL), in which strong teams from each league participate, is not just a dream.
Director Lee was wary of hasty predictions. He met with reporters before the game and said, “I’m not at the stage to talk about the ACL. I just thought let’s focus on today’s game.”
Even after catching the big catch called Seoul, his humble attitude remained the same. When asked about his goals for the remainder of the season at the post-game press conference, Coach Lee said, “There is still a long way to go, and in some ways, we are lacking a lot. I will work harder with my players to make up for the shortcomings,” rather than talking about the distant future, one game at a time. He said winning is more important.
Lee Soon-min was the same as Director Lee. When we met in the mixed zone (joint coverage area) after the game and asked about the goal he is currently setting, he said, “Right now, rather than reaching for a certain goal, I want to continue to challenge my limits. To do that, I will continue to win game after game and perform well. “It’s important to rise up while showing that,” he said.
That’s how Gwangju came together as a team. Coach Lee consistently pursued organic and organized attacking soccer based on positional play even when the soccer he wanted did not produce the results in the early and mid-season. The players also believed in Coach Lee and continued to focus on training, and gradually all the players joined together like a machine, and Gwangju’s sensation began. As the results came out, the players’ confidence increased, and a virtuous cycle of improved performance continued.
Heo Yul, who scored the winning goal on this day and was selected as the Distinguished Player, said in a press conference, “I gained confidence while playing soccer, which I have been doing for a long time. I think the biggest part was trying to grow even when I failed.” He continued to trust and follow coach Lee and became a player. He said that both individual and overall team performance were able to improve.
Now the players are looking higher. Lee Sun-min, whose talent blossomed under Coach Lee in Gwangju and who made it to the national team at the age of 29, said, “No one expected Gwangju to be in this position now. In fact, the players also often thought, ‘Can they really do it?’ “But as I continued to do it, I came to this position. There is no law saying I can’t go further from here. I feel the results I have achieved and have learned things. I have gained a lot of confidence that I can do it,” he said, confident that Gwangju has the potential to rise to a higher position. did.
Director Lee’s dream as a leader is coming true. When asked at a press conference before the game why he wanted to continue coaching, Coach Lee said, “When I was a player, my dream was very small. I just wanted to play consistently in the K-League for as long as possible without getting injured.”
He continued, “On the contrary, let’s make the players and the players I coach dream big. Let me guide them. If I invest more time and effort, my players will be well groomed so that they can go out on a bigger stage and be treated well. “Let’s make it happen. I’ve thought about that a lot,” he said, adding that his goal is to help players display their talents to the fullest.
Gwangju is on a winning streak, accumulating the most points in the club’s history. Although we are in a situation where we are looking at not only Final A but also the ACL, Coach Lee emphasized that we must be wary of this and do our best in each game. The reason he emphasized the next game rather than the distant future so much may be because he knows that when he does his best in each game and when he works harder to polish players who are close to the rough and turn them into gems, goals such as advancing to the ACL will naturally be achieved. .