Coach Hong Myung-bo (54), who led Ulsan Hyundai to two consecutive K-League wins for the first time since its founding, is enjoying his second golden age as a coach.
Ulsan, led by coach Hong, won 2-0 in the home game against Daegu FC in the 35th round (2nd leg of Final A) of ‘Hana One Q K League 1 2023’ held at Ulsan Munsu Stadium on the 29th, with 70 points (21 wins, 7 draws, 7 losses). By taking the high ground, early victory was confirmed regardless of the results of the remaining three games in the league. Even if they lose all remaining games and the second-place Pohang Steelers (60 points) win all of them, the ranking will not change.
Ulsan, which suffered from the ‘runner-up jinx’ every time, rose to the top of K-League 1 for the first time in 17 years under coach Hong last year and won its third star. And this year, for the first time since its founding, it achieved two consecutive wins and succeeded in winning the regular league a total of four times (1996, 2005, 2022, 2023).짱구카지노 주소
Director Hong follows Park Jong-hwan (Seongnam, 1993-1995), Kim Ho (Suwon, 1998-1999), Cha Gyeong-bok (Seongnam, 2001-2003), Choi Kang-hee (Jeonbuk, 2014-2015, 2017-2018), and Jose Morais (Jeonbuk, 2019-2020). As the head coach of the top domestic professional soccer league, he achieved two consecutive wins for the fifth time in history, becoming a ‘championship contractor’ in name and reality.
In particular, Coach Hong is a soccer player who received attention for his ’10-year cycle speech’. 1992 was the beginning. Coach Hong debuted as a professional player in Pohang that year and not only won the championship, but also swept the K League Best 11 and MVP awards. Ten years later, in 2002, he participated in the Korea-Japan World Cup finals wearing the captain’s armband and led the team to the semifinals. And in 2012, he led the team to the bronze medal at the London Olympics. Last year, as Ulsan’s head coach resolved the 17-year-old resentment of winning the club, the 10-year cycle theory was considered ‘science’.
However, his ability to rise as a leader was such that he shortened the 10-year cycle to one year. For the first time in his career, he led the club and lifted the championship trophy for two consecutive years.
Behind this, Coach Hong communicates forward-lookingly with the veteran, who is the focal point of the team, and unites the team with sincere consideration. In the past, Ulsan was evaluated as lacking a ‘one team spirit’ despite the presence of multiple star players. Then, Coach Hong strengthened internal unity around Lee Chung-yong, who played as captain last season, and this season, many of the senior members of the team showed great dedication and sacrifice, creating synergy with young players. It became the key to overcoming the crisis.
In particular, Ulsan suffered a major loss of power last summer when key defensive midfielder Park Yong-woo (Al Ain) suddenly transferred to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) league. National team center back Kim Young-kwon, who was the core of the defense at that time, also received an offer from the Middle East that was three times his current salary. For him, who is in his twilight years as a player, it is bound to be an attractive offer. Coach Hong could not stand in the way of the future of Kim Young-kwon, who had played a key role since his days as the head coach of the youth team. However, Kim Young-kwon, who came to the K-League after spending a long time overseas when he started his professional career, accepted several pieces of advice from his mentor, Coach Hong, and chose to stay in Ulsan. With a heightened sense of responsibility, he continued to serve as the leader and spiritual leader of the defense and played a major role in helping the team win two consecutive games.
The dedication of Kim Ki-hee, Kim Young-kwon’s central defense partner, is also noteworthy. He was appointed as the new captain when the team was reeling from negative issues and took the lead in seeking internal unity. He is one of Coach Hong’s most trusted resources in the second half of the year. Although he had little opportunity to play in the first half of the game due to being pushed out by Jeong Seung-hyun and Kim Young-kwon, he quietly played his role without complaint and became the driving force behind Ulsan playing as a team until the end.
Korean striker Joo Min-gyu also had a hard time maintaining his condition as he alternated with Martin Adam (Hungary) instead of playing as a starter in every game like his previous team. However, with the will to hold the title of ‘championship’, he returned to his former team Ulsan and made sacrifices and worked hard to manage himself according to the team’s situation. As a result, despite many variables, he has scored 15 goals to date and competed for the top scorer in the league, repaying Coach Hong’s trust.
Last year’s captain and MVP Lee Chung-yong also remained unchanged. He is a veteran who acts as a bridge between the coaching staff and the players better than anyone else. He also did not often play as a starter on the field, but he encouraged his juniors and fulfilled his duties as a joker. In the second half of the year, he moved to central midfield, filled Park Yong-woo’s gap with his unique and skillful game management, and served as the pinnacle of the build-up.
The more star corps, the better the combination of the commander and veterans is needed to complete the team. Ulsan succeeded in building a dynasty in the 2020s by winning two consecutive games thanks to the textbook cooperation between coach Hong and the veteran team.