“I don’t intend to step down” Yoon Jung-hwan returns after 7 years to save crisis-ridden Gangwon

Yoon Jeong-hwan (50), the new head coach of Gangwon FC, aims to lead the team to retention. He calls for a change in atmosphere as a priority.먹튀검증

Yoon Jeong-hwan, who was appointed as the 10th head coach of Gangwon, said at his inaugural press conference at the clubhouse in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, on Nov. 19, “I’m thinking a lot about how to improve the situation. I will do my best to help the team stay in (the K League One) no matter what. All I can do is show it on the field.”

Gangwon, which reached the Final A (top six teams in the K League 1) last year, has been in a slump since the beginning of this season. The team’s tactic of building a solid defense and then going on the counterattack proved to be a bitter pill to swallow. With two wins, six draws, and 10 losses in 18 games, Gangwon (12 points) is 11th out of 12 teams in the K League 1. The threat of relegation grew as the gap between them and the teams at the top of the table widened.

In the end, Gangwon made the decision to fire head coach Choi Yong-soo. Kangwon CEO Kim Byung-ji offered Yoon Jung-hwan the head coaching job. Hoping to make a spectacular comeback, Yoon took the reins at the end of the season. Kim told this newspaper on the 15th, “We need to overcome the crisis well. I’m looking forward to his (Yoon’s) crisis management skills,” Kim said in a statement.

(From left) Lee Seung-won, CEO Kim Byung-ji, and head coach Yoon Jeong-hwan.

“I felt that CEO Kim Byung-ji was thinking deeply about me. He said that only I can do it, so it wasn’t easy for me to refuse (the offer). I didn’t like the idea of returning to the K League in such a difficult situation (for Gangwon), but I wanted to help Gangwon.”

Yoon began his coaching career with Sagandos (Japan) in 2008 and has been in charge of the club since 2011, when he promoted the J2 League side to the first division for the first time in its history. In 2017, he led Cerezo Osaka to a cup tournament and the Japan Cup, where he was recognized for his leadership. He then went on to manage Muangthong United (Thailand) and Jepp United (Japan).

He returned to the domestic scene after a seven-year absence. Yoon was the head coach of Ulsan Hyundai from 2015 to 2016. Despite his lack of experience in the K League, he served as a K League ambassador and commentator for the 2023 season, analyzing domestic players and teams.

“We have to get results no matter what,” said Yoon, who cited Gangwon’s extreme defense as a problem. We will try to score as quickly as possible. We have to do what we can to stop the opponent’s advantages and counterattack without dropping down in defense.” The intention is to implant a more proactive style of soccer.

To set the tone, Yoon emphasized “confidence,” “atmosphere,” and “trust” in his first meeting with the team. The whiteboard on which Yoon wrote the three keywords is still at the entrance to Gangwon’s clubhouse on the first floor. It’s a reminder of the “winning mentality” that was missing in the squad.

“I have no intention of backing down from the beginning. It’s important for the players to move forward with confidence. I’m talking to the players about that. If the players are motivated, it will be difficult for the opponents and we can become a scary team,” he said, dreaming of a bright tomorrow.

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