Yeom Ki-hoon (40, Suwon Samsung), the ‘master of the left foot’, dances the ‘Last Dance’ as a playing coach.
Last season, Suwon Samsung went through the relegation playoffs and dramatically remained in the K-League 1. Oh Hyeon-kyu’s headed theatrical goal in overtime in the second leg of the promotion playoffs tells the story. It was a thrilling victory, but it was a bout with a loss of pride as a prestigious family.
Yeom Ki-hoon, who faced a disgraceful retirement crisis, decided to continue his active life for another year with the K-League 1 remaining. A new title, ‘playing coach’ was also attached. Yeom Ki-hoon, who left the last year of his career as a player, had a different resolution.
– How do you feel about your last season as a playing coach?
This year is more desperate and precious. Last year I felt comfortable. Now, as a playing coach, my role is a bit different. There is more pressure. The coach tells me not to think about skipping physical exercise. It’s hard, but I’m doing the same as my juniors. It was so good. I have confidence and a sense of pressure that I can do better than last year. This year is starting harder than last year.
– Yang Sang-min became a coach after retiring?
Yang Sang-min is in the position of coaching and I have to convey the difficulties of my juniors. He’s been through it once and he’s doing just fine. In the playground, they call me ‘Coach Yang’. In private, I call comfortably. haha.
– I heard that Kim Bo-kyung played a big role in joining?
The first time I saw Bokyung was at the age of 22 during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. He is a junior that I have been watching since I was a child. He called Bokyung and said that he would like to be together. He said that since we started together, let’s finish together. After Bokyung came to our team, the sense of weight changed. A veteran player is here, so it will be of great help. 안전놀이터
– Kim Bo-kyung’s role must be different from when he was in Jeonbuk or Ulsan?
When I first came, I told Bokyung, ‘Like when I was in Jeonbuk and Ulsan, soccer and Suwon, where there are many players who help me, can be different.’ He said it could be tougher to drag younger players along. I also said I would help where I could. Bokyung said that he could do enough. Bokyung will also be difficult.
– As a playing coach, Lee Ho won the last season in Ulsan and retired?
I was so envious of Lee Ho’s victory and his retirement ceremony. He retired when the team was at its best. If I, like Lee Ho, retire from the championship this year, it will be the best year in my 18 years of professional life. I am also training while dreaming of that dream. I believe that my juniors will give me wonderful memories.
– What is the hardest part of being a playing coach?
There is no hard part yet. The director also said that it would be okay to keep the center like now. I told my juniors that I would still compete as a player. However, he said he would tell the players what he wanted to say.
– Is there anything uncomfortable about dealing with MZ generation players?
The players are too hard on me. (Lee) Sang-min (19) is 21 years older. Players who have been there for several years laugh and talk. New players have a hard time approaching me. So I’m trying to get closer. haha.
– Recently, Suwon has been sluggish. How many players still have the glory of the past?
The difference between Suwon in the past and Suwon now is heaven and earth. The squad itself has changed so much. At that time, there were many players who could play for any team. It’s hard right now because it’s focused on young players. You have to accept the situation. It is important that young players show off their usual skills. The recruitment of (Kim) Bokyung is a great strength. After that, I feel the weight of our team.
– Are you greedy about joining the 80-80 club? Director Lee Byung-geun said he would help?
Three goals left. It became more desperate. Now this year is really the last. I don’t know how many games he will play and participate in. Last year, I joked to my juniors, ‘If I go in, won’t there be a penalty kick or a free kick?’ He said get some fouls. haha.
I am desperate too. want to score a goal The desire to form the 80-80 club grew. After the PK, I am desperate enough to wonder if I have to stand around in front of the director.
– In the past, he was known as the ‘Left Foot Master’, but now Lee Ki-je took that nickname?
It’s a pity, but even when Lee Gi-je practices free kicks, he kicks very well. He raised the maximum attack point with his left foot. I hope Lee Gi-je will do better than regret. Now he said 32 attack points. Since I am the captain, he will score more points.
– How many real chances are there?
This winter training is important. I am the same player. Depending on how I show myself to the coach, my playing time will also change. Even if I can’t beat my juniors, I try to follow them. The goal is to secure more playing time than last year.
– What would you like to say to your fans?
Last year, there were many fans who asked for one more year. Now you’ve got your chance I hope we can part with a smile this year. It’s not a tough season like last year, but I want to finish this year with a smile.