On the 20th, the 2023 K League 1 Opening Media Day was held at The-K Hotel in Seocho-gu, Seoul. Gwangju FC, which returned to the first division by winning the K-League 2 (2nd division) last season, and Daejeon Hana Citizen, who were promoted through the promotion playoffs, received the spotlight as well as Ulsan Hyundai and Jeonbuk Hyundai, which were exceptionally ranked as ‘second round’.
Gwangju FC coach Lee Jung-hyo sat in the corner of the promoted team, but became a media day star with his outspoken remarks. It was different from fashion. On top of a well-dressed suit, he wore the top uniform reversed so that his name could be seen clearly, and entered with Ahn Young-gyu. Director Lee Jeong-hyo said, “(Lee Eutteum) prepared well for the opening, but suffered a major injury. I don’t think any words can comfort me, so I came out wearing it to show off.”
Coach Lee Jung-hyo, who calls himself an “underdog,” won the K-League 2 Coach Award last season by leading the promotion to Division 1 with the highest number of points (86 points) in K-League 2 history. But part 1 is another stage. Director Lee Jung-hyo said, “I want to show the color of Gwangju. I will push forward without breaking my convictions,” he said. “Remaining is not the goal. We will show what kind of team we are from the first game,” he assured the opening match. Gwangju will play the opening game against Suwon Samsung at the Suwon World Cup Stadium on the 25th. Ahn Young-kyu explained Gwangju’s style as attacking soccer and explained, “The coach told us not to hold a ceremony after scoring one goal.”
When asked to predict the quarterfinals, coach Lee Jung-hyo said, “I don’t know about the quarterfinals. I know the top teams will try to catch us to get into the semifinals. But we’re not going to give up points easily,” he said briskly. Ahn Young-gyu also said, “There must be many people who expect that (Gwangju) will be relegated first, but I want to overturn that expectation 토토사이트. I will laugh at the end,” said director Lee Jung-hyo.
Gwangju, which has participated in the K-League since the 2011 season, stayed in the first division the longest in three seasons (2015-2017), and the best performance in the first division was 6th in the 2020 season.
Daejeon coach Lee Min-seong, who led the relegated team in 2015 to the K-League 1 stage for the first time in 8 seasons, also promised a blast with a calm tone. “It took eight years to get to this honorable position. I will do my best in every game to keep this position,” he emphasized, saying, “Ulsan Hyundai, Jeonbuk Hyundai, Pohang Steelers, and Incheon United squads look the best at the moment, but you have to see the results at the end.”
Captain Joo Se-jong also expressed his desire to rise to a higher rank, saying, “I was the first to enter Media Day today, but next year (I will remain in Part 1) I want to come a little later.”
The possibility of a blast from both teams cannot be ignored. Nam Ki-il, manager of Jeju United, who mentioned Gwangju as a team to watch, said, “The manager’s ability to lead the players is excellent.” Coach Nam Ki-il worked with coach Lee Jeong-hyo as head coach while leading Gwangju, Seongnam, and Jeju. Gangwon FC coach Choi Yong-soo, who faces Daejeon in the first game of the season on the 26th, was nervous, saying, “It is a team where the individual abilities of each player are well harmonized.”