Young fellows in the K-League lose their strength in their 4th year of debut.
This is because the opportunity to win the Young Player Award, which is a guarantee check for a talented rookie, is limited to those under the age of 23 who have a Korean nationality of 3 years. These days, with the appearance of high school K-leagues and the debut year has sped up, unfair cases often occur as more players see the light in their 4th year.
Young-Jun Koh (22), the young gun of Pohang Steelers, is also like that. He is in his 4th year since his debut in 2020, and he is tied for 3rd in scoring with 4 goals even after playing only 9 games this year. Although his main job is an attacking midfielder, he is leading the team’s only undefeated streak with his sharp scoring instinct. On the 22nd, K-League 1 leader Ulsan Hyundai and East Coast Derby scored multiple goals and received praise.
Koh Young-joon, who we met on the 26th at the Songra Clubhouse in Pohang City, said, “Everyone around me asks if I feel unfair, but unfortunately, that’s not all.”
The big stage Koh Young-jun is talking about is the Asian Games held in Hangzhou, China in September. Coach Hwang Seon-hong (55) commanded the baton, and if he wins a gold medal in this event, he can also receive military service benefits. The possibility of winning is higher than ever as it is a competition in which the ‘golden generation’, which was verified at the Poland Under-20 (U-20) World Cup, participates intact. At the time, the Golden Ball winner Lee Kang-in (22, Mallorca), Eom Won-sang (24, Ulsan), and Ko Jae-hyeon (24, Daegu) were the main runner-up members born in 1999.
Koh Young-joon said, “It won’t be easy to compete with two-year-old brothers, but it’s not a competition that I can’t go to,” he said, emphasizing, “If you play with good existing members, it’s a good chance to win.” In fact, Ko Young-joon was called by former soccer team coach Paulo Bento last year and even accumulated his A-match experience. The fact that he led the team to the Doha Cup victory last month under coach Hwang and was selected as the MVP is also a background of his confidence.
Ko Young-jun was born in 2001 and seems to be concerned about the title issue with Lee Kang-in, who is the same age but has an earlier birthday. His friendship with the national team once last year is all. He said, “I saw people of the same age as (Hong) Sihoo (Incheon) calling him ‘Kangin. To be honest, he is an older brother if he is good at soccer, so he even thinks of calling him an older brother when he meets him. He is in the same position, but his skills are far ahead of me.” 토스카지노
Koh Young-joon, who humbles himself to the utmost, is evaluated as a player who grows as he plays games. This year, the first touch, which was a weakness, became soft like ‘soft tofu’, and even the shooting, which was a strength, came to life. One can only wonder how much further he will grow until the Asian Games. If his dribbling breakthrough, which is a long-term skill, develops, he can achieve his dream of advancing to the European stage beyond the Asian Games.
Ko Young-joon said, “The Asian Games are a stage where I can show myself to the world,” and said, “If the opportunity comes, I want to advance to the big stage.”
However, before leaving for the big stage, Koh Young-joon wants to present a championship cup to his former team, Pohang. I have clear memories of watching Pohang win two gold medals (K League 1 FA Cup) as a member of Pohang Jecheol Elementary School in 2013, exactly 10 years ago. Ko Young-jun said, “This year, our team is running undefeated in 9 matches (5 wins, 4 draws). The flow is good. The goal of winning this year is not impossible.”