“It’s a tough time, but I really want to rebound”
Kim Bong-soo (23), a key midfielder in the third year of professional football’s K League One Jeju United, said this ahead of the team’s training session after a short break.
Kim made his professional debut in a Jeju jersey in 2021 and has established himself by playing more than 20 games in three consecutive seasons. He has started 23 of Jeju’s 24 league games this season, tied for the most appearances among field players. He also featured in three Football Association (FA) Cup matches and was named in Hwang Sun-hong’s Asian Games 온라인카지노(AG) squad in June, starting both matches against China.
In his debut season, he came off the substitutes’ bench for the U-22s, but he has made a name for himself since last year. In addition to his main position as a central midfielder, he has shown his versatility as a defender. Jeju head coach Nam Ki-il has shown faith in him by using him in various positions. This is in line with what Hwang Sun-hong emphasised when he announced the Hangzhou AG roster on the 14th. In fact, Kim Bong-soo has been a regular participant in call-ups since Hwang took charge of the age-group national team last year. However, he did not make the final roster.
Kim Bong-soo (right) celebrates after a win against the Pohang Steelers in May.
Photo/Korea Football Association
In a phone interview with AG on the 25th, Kim Bong-soo said, “I thought I had a 50-50 chance (of selection) before the announcement. I received a lot of support and encouragement from those around me, but there were many strong players, including wild cards.” “After the list was announced, I was disappointed. But I didn’t think I had reached the level that coach Hwang Sun-hong thought I had. I don’t mind now. I have a lot of games left to play for Jeju,” he said encouragingly.
Jeju are also in poor form. They have two draws and six defeats in their last eight games. After reaching as high as third place, they have slipped to ninth. Kim Bong-soo is facing a double whammy.
“The whole team is eagerly preparing for every game. It’s frustrating that we don’t get (good) results, but I think it’s something we have to overcome,” she said, expressing her determination to get out of the slump.
After a short break, Jeju’s attention turns to a three-game home stand in August. It’s a tough schedule, with three games in seven days, including the FA Cup in midweek. “We’ve been in a tough situation lately, but it will be resolved over time,” said Kim Bong-soo, adding, “I really want to win all three home games, and I’m working hard to achieve a rebound.”
Meanwhile, Kim Bong-soo will be leaving the team at the end of the season to join the army. He was included in the list of successful applicants for the 2023 Armed Forces Sports Specialists announced by the Ministry of Military Affairs in June, and will wear the Gimcheon Commerce jersey next season. When asked about his goals before joining the army, he said, “Jeju is a team that tries to qualify for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League (ACL) every season. I want to bring the team back to the top of the league.”