“I thought that if the players did really well, we could expect to advance to the playoffs (PO).”
Go Jeong-woon (57), head coach of Gimpo, who is leading the K-League 2 (second division) in professional football, said as if he did not expect the team’s good performance at the beginning of this season. As of the 12th, Gimpo is the only undefeated team among 13 K-League 2 teams with 6 wins and 5 draws (23 points). There is no undefeated team in the K-League 1 (first division) this season.
Coach Goh, who met at the Salter Soccer Field in Gimpo, Gyeonggi-do on the 10th, explained why he did not expect the team to lead the team at the beginning of this season, and brought up the topic of foreign players. He said that he had almost no expectations for foreign players, who account for a large part of the team’s strength. Gimpo played without foreign players last year, the first season of entering the second division. However, this season, they recruited three foreign players, Pablo (Uruguay), Luis (Colombia), and Juninho (Brazil). All three are strikers. Coach Koh said, “I didn’t expect much because I had to watch videos of foreign players’ past matches and decide whether to recruit them or not.”
Coach Goh, who was called ‘Red Horse’ because of his strong stamina and quick feet as a player, focused on ‘activity’ that stirs the ground instead of ‘activity’ revealed in records for foreign players. Coach Ko is using the tactic of ‘all defense, all offense’. Foreign players who are strikers must also actively defend. Coach Koh said, “To keep the distance between the defense line, midfielder, and striker constant throughout the game, the entire team must move in perfect order.” Luis has 6 goals (1st in scoring), and Pablo has 2 goals and 2 assists.
Some point out that coach Goh’s tactics consume a lot of players’ stamina, making it difficult to maintain good results until the second half of the season. Gimpo finished the season in 8th place after recording 7 consecutive draws (3 draws and 4 losses) in the second half of last season. Coach Goh said, “Before the start of this season, we hired a physical coach. He turned more than 70% of team training into physical training and focused on strengthening the players’ physical strength.”메이저사이트
Coach Goh, a former striker, has a football philosophy that “the defense must also attack.” Gimpo plays soccer that presses the opponent by raising the defensive line. Because of this, there is a weakness in the space behind the defense. Gimpo allowed 65 goals last season, making it the second most conceded team in the league. Coach Goh showed confidence in the defense now, saying, “I trained countless times to learn how to respond when the defensive line was raised and space was allowed behind.” Gimpo, who allowed only 4 goals in 11 games this season, is the team with the least goals in the league.
Coach Ko entered the Japanese J-League after receiving a large transfer fee when he was a player. He also competed in the 1994 World Cup in the USA. However, his leadership career was not smooth. Coach Goh, who started his coaching career as a coach at Sunmoon University in 2003, later coached in Jeonnam and Seoul in the K-League. After the last coaching of Poongsaeng High School in 2012, he was away from the center of the soccer world for a while. Coach Goh said, “I worked as an elementary school coach and commentator,” and “At that time, he lowered his eye level to see soccer. If he had only coached a professional team, he would have always only looked up, but now he can see the situation below as well. Without this experience, he would not have understood the players of the 2nd and 3rd divisions.”
The gaze at Gimpo, who has been holding the baton for four years, was also different. If Gimpo maintains the lead until the end of the season, it will be promoted to the first division next season. Coach Goh said, “It is not desirable for the team to go up to the first division right now.” “We are training in an artificial turf field. You need to consider the financial situation of the club. Even if you are lucky and go to the 1st division, there is a high possibility that you will become a ‘sand castle’.”
It is better for Gimpo to promote when not only the skills of the players but also the club’s support and training infrastructure reach the level of a first division team. Coach Go said, “When I first took over as coach of Gimpo, I said, ‘The goal is for Gimpo to play in the K-League 1 in the future.’” “Gimpo promoted from the third division to the second division last year. Now, he is leading the K-League 2 and is showing good results, but it is good to advance to the 1st division in 3 or 4 years. It is because he understands and cares for the team and the players.”