‘Undead’ Jeonbuk veteran Hong Jung-ho “There is no place for me”
“There are no guaranteed positions. We have to prove more and show more.”
Hong Jeong-ho (34), a veteran central defender of Jeonbuk Hyundai in the K-League 1 (Part 1), is calm even with the opening of the 2023 season just around the corner. I don’t want to be treated as a ‘senior’ as I belong to a team that is always fighting for the championship in the professional world where competition for survival is fierce. This is because if you lack skills, you will be pushed out, and the position will only be filled by someone with reasonable ability.
For Hong Jeong-ho, the last season remains a ‘disappointment’. He won the K-League 1 Best Player (MVP) in the 2021 season, but last year he played little role. Due to an Achilles tendon injury, after July, he was effectively classified as a ‘out-of-power player’. Jeonbuk Province, which lost the best defender in Korea, had to give up its 6th consecutive league title and 10th championship title to its rival Ulsan Hyundai. We won the FA Cup, but it was a season with much more regret than joy.
“I wanted to carry on the MVP momentum. prepared more My body hurt, but I was really angry with myself for missing the championship I always had. I’m not used to it, but we are entering the new season from the standpoint of challengers. I haven’t erased the feelings of that devastating day.”
To be honest, I could have played in October. During the long extra time in the second half, he conceded two goals and looked at the coaching staff eagerly during the losing Ulsan expedition. But in the end I couldn’t run. Jeonbuk coach Kim Sang-sik understood the veteran’s will, but did not overdo it. His impatience could lead to great anger.
I worked hard on rehabilitation. It feels good. “I desperately tried everything that was good for my body. Saying, “I don’t get sick anymore,” he is participating in winter training in full swing in Marbella via Barcelona, Spain.
But Hong Jeong-ho knows this well. Even if he finishes well in winter training, he says he can’t guarantee that he will be able to play as a regular starter. The back door of Jeonbuk is still strong. In addition to Park Jin-seop, who made a big success last year, Yoon Young-sun, a former World Cup representative, and Koo Ja-ryong, whose skills were proven in the K-League, Jung Tae-wook, a former Daegu FC, also recently joined.
“Everyone is so good that I was able to spend a lot of time on rehabilitation last year, and it eased the burden. A strong team needs to be reinforced over and over again. that’s the right direction If there are many good players, there is synergy. Since I play attack soccer, the frequency of counterattacks is high, so the defense must be more solid.” 메이저놀이터
Of course there is a lot to do. Above all, it is a season that fits after a long period of injury. He must prove that he is alive and regain his lost title. Hong Jeong-ho said, “It is still worth running. I need perfection to compensate for the long gap,” he said. “I know I have to go down someday, if not right away. However, I try to pass on a good position by exerting a good influence on the team as much as possible.”
Looking at the team with a lower age group, I have some concerns (?). It’s a reduced weight. However, this is not something that can be resolved right away. We need more time. Hong Jeong-ho said, “I have a lot of juniors. It is each person’s responsibility to blend well into the team and adapt to their unique culture,” he said, “There is no problem with skills. The green uniform means quality. I will talk a lot with my younger colleagues and engage in skinship so that Jeonbuk can maintain its competitiveness.”